Scientist Breaks New Ground Transplanting Embryonic Stem Cells
Portland, OR - An Oregon Health & Science University scientist has been able to make embryonic stem cells from adult mouse body cells using the cytoplasm of two-cell embryos that were in the "interphase" stage of the cell cycle. Scientists had previously thought the interphase stage — a later stage of the cell cycle — was incapable of converting transplanted adult cell nuclei into embryonic stem cells.
The findings by OHSU's Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., and his team could have major implications for the science of generating patient-matched human embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine. Human embryonic stem cells are capable of transforming into any cell type in the body. Scientists believe stem cell therapies hold promise for someday curing or treating a wide range of diseases and conditions — from Parkinson's disease to cardiac disease to spinal cord injuries — by replacing cells damaged through injury or illness.
Mitalipov's findings will be published March 26 in the online edition of Nature. If the new findings in mice hold true for humans, it could significantly help efforts to make rejection-proof human embryonic stem cells for regenerative therapies. That's because embryonic cells that Mitalipov's team used for reprogramming — cells in the "interphase" stage — are more accessible than the traditional egg cells that are in short supply. Scientists previously had believed embryonic stem cells were capable of being produced only using the metaphase stage of egg cytoplasm. Continue>
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