With an increased life expectancy among humans, aging has recently emerged as a major focus in biomedical research. The lack of in vitro aging models—especially for neurological disorders, where access to human brain tissues is limited—has hampered the progress in studies on human brain aging and various age-associated neurodegenerative diseases at the cellular and molecular level. In this review, we provide an overview of age-related changes in the transcriptome, in signaling pathways, and in relation to epigenetic factors that occur in senescent neurons. Moreover, we explore the current cell models used to study neuronal aging in vitro, including immortalized cell lines, primary neuronal culture, neurons directly converted from fibroblasts (Fib-iNs), and iPSC-derived neurons (iPSC-iNs); we also discuss the advantages and limitations of these models. In addition, the key phenotypes associated with cellular senescence that have been observed by these models are compared. Finally, we focus on the potential of combining human iPSC-iNs with genome editing technology in order to further our understanding of brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases, and discuss the future directions and challenges in the field.
- Brain aging
- Genome editing technology
- Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)
- Induced neurons (iNs)
- Neuronal senescence