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Adult Stem Cells Can Do What Embryonic Stem Cells Do

16th April 2007 by Arrow Durfee Posted in Uncategorized

Source: American Chemical Society
Date: September 19, 2006
More on:
Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Prostate Cancer, Brain Tumor, Immune System, Lymphoma
Adult Stem Cells Show Wider Potential Than Previously Thought
Science Daily — Chemists are developing new insights and techniques in an effort to expand the therapeutic potential of stem cells, which includes possible treatments for Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, spinal cord injury and other devastating conditions.

Embryonic stem cells are the most versatile stem cells, capable of being transformed into any other cell type, depending on their desired therapeutic use.
Now, researchers at Northwestern University have found new evidence that hematopoietic stem cells, a type of adult stem cell derived from the bone marrow that gives rise to blood cells, are capable of undergoing more diverse transformations than previously thought and could be transformed into a wide variety of tissue types, not just blood cells.
In recent laboratory tests, human megakaryocytes (bone marrow cells that produce blood platelets that are responsible for blood clotting) derived from adult hematopoietic stem cells were, for the first time, reprogrammed into neutrophil-like cells similar to the white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infections, according to study leader E. Terry Papoutsakis.
Insights from this study could help guide similar adult stem cell transformations in other cell types in the future, he says.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Chemical Society.

Spinal cord cells to be repaired by using nose cells

Medical Procedure News
Published: Wednesday, 30-Nov-2005

Plans are afoot next year for British surgeons to attempt to make the first repairs of spinal cord nerves using a revolutionary new stem cell technique.

The procedure, developed by Professor Geoffrey Raisman from University College London, could pave the way to helping paralysed patients walk again or restoring sight to the blind.

It involves taking stem cells from the lining of the nose and using them to create a “bridge” between the severed ends of the nerves.

Until now it has not been possible to repair the major nerves running through the spinal cord or those branching off from it.

As many as ten patients are expected to undergo the operation within the first three months of next year at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square.

All have suffered a type of injury most often seen in motorcycle accidents where nerves in the arm are pulled out of the spinal cord, which causes numbness, pain, and partial loss of movement, and never heals.

Professor Raisman, who will lead the surgical team, says the injury occurs when a blow to the shoulder pulls nerve fibres out of the spinal cord rather like pulling a plug out of a socket.

He says they will try to make the nerve fibres grow back which has not been attempted before.

If the procedure is successful it will apparently open the door to treating all kinds of connective nerve fibre conditions, including spinal injuries, the most severe kinds of stroke, and blindness and deafness caused by nerve fibre injury.

It seems Professor Raisman first identified the “olfactory ensheathing” stem cells to be used in the procedure, in 1985.

As the cells come from the patients’ themselves, there is no risk of them being rejected by the immune system.

The new trial is being seen as the first step in demonstrating that the technique can work in humans.

News-Medical.Net Staff

Skin Cells Converted to Stem Cells
Scientists’ Work Could Clear Moral Hurdle to Embryonic Research
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 22, 2005; Page A01

Scientists for the first time have turned ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells — without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process, as has always been required in the past, a Harvard research team announced yesterday.

The technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells — such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by federally funded researchers — to “reprogram” the genes in a person’s skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.

Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Date: July 12, 2006

New Source Of Multipotent Adult Stem Cells Discovered In Human Hair Follicles
Science Daily — Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have isolated a new source of adult stem cells that appear to have the potential to differentiate into several cell types. If their approach to growing these cells can be scaled up and proves to be safe and effective in animal and human studies, it could one day provide the tissue needed by an individual for treating a host of disorders, including peripheral nerve disease, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury.

Hair spheres formed by proliferation of multipotent stem cells derived from human hair follicles. (Credit: Xiaowei Xu, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the American Journal of Pathology)

“We are very excited about this new source of adult stem cells that has the potential for a variety of applications,” says senior author Xiaowei (George) Xu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology. “A number of reports have pointed to the fact that adult stem cells may be more flexible in what they become than previously thought, so we decided to look in the hair follicle bulge, a niche for these cells.” Xu and colleagues report their findings in the latest issue of the American Journal of Pathology.

British researchers grow heart tissue from stem cells (Update)

British researchers said Monday they have grown human heart tissue from stem cells, raising hopes for the transplant of replacement valve tissue within a few years.

Researchers told AFP the advance could eventually lead to the production of “off-the-shelf hearts,” perhaps within a decade, though this would require a sophisticated international effort.

Researchers led by Magdi Yacoub, Egyptian-born professor of cardiac surgery at Imperial College London, said they have grown tissue from stem cells in bone marrow that works in the same way as the valves in human hearts.

Source: American Chemical Society
Date: September 20, 2006

Elasticity Of Tissue Environment Plays Role In Determining Stem Cell Growth
Science Daily — Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that the elasticity of a stem cell’s environment is a major determinant of what type of tissue the stem cell becomes.

In laboratory tests, Dennis Discher and Adam Engler grew mesenchymal stem cells (derived from adult bone marrow) in polymer hydrogels with either soft, medium or rigid elasticity.
Based on resulting cell shapes as well as messenger RNA and protein markers, stem cells grown in softer environments — such as brain tissue — tended to produce nerve-like cells; those grown in environments with medium elasticity — similar to muscle — produced muscle-like cells
The stem cells grown in more rigid environments — like bone — produced bone-like cells.
The study provides new clues on how chemical and mechanical factors interact to influence stem cell growth, the researchers say.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Chemical Society.

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