Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Umbilical Cord Matrix, A Rich New Stem Cell Source, Study Shows

Date:
January 22, 2003
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
The cushioning material or matrix within the umbilical cord known as Wharton's jelly is a rich and readily available source of primitive stem cells, according to findings by a research team at Kansas State University.

The cushioning material or matrix within the umbilical cord known as Wharton's jelly is a rich and readily available source of primitive stem cells, according to findings by a research team at Kansas State University.

Animal and human umbilical cord matrix cells exhibit the tell-tale characteristics of all stem cells, the capacity to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple cell types.

Researchers Kathy Mitchell, Deryl Troyer, and Mark Weiss of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Duane Davis of the College of Agriculture carried out the studies.

The cells -- called cord matrix stem cells to distinguish them from cord blood cells -- can be obtained in a non-invasive manner from an abundant source of tissue that is typically discarded.

According to Weiss and Troyer, "Umbilical cord matrix cells could provide the scientific and medical research community with a non-controversial and easily attainable source of stem cells for developing treatments for Parkinson's disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancers and other conditions."

A paper, "Matrix cells from Wharton's jelly form neurons and glia," appears Jan. 16 in the on-line version of the journal "Stem Cells."

Among the findings: Wharton's jelly cells from pigs were propagated in the lab for more than a year without losing potency; they can be stored cryogenically and engineered to express foreign proteins.

The cells exhibit telomerase activity, a key indicator of stem cells, and they can be induced to form nerve cells, both neurons and glia, that produce a range of nerve-cell specific traits. Neurons are the nervous system cells that transmit signals; glial cells support the neurons.

On the basis of the encouraging results with animal tissue, the team broadened its investigations to human umbilical cord matrix cells with similar exciting findings -- human umbilical cord matrix cells differentiate into neurons, too.

Most of the promise of developing embryonic stem cell-based therapies for treating several degenerative diseases of the nervous system as well as other types of disease is hindered by the controversial nature of the cell sources. Research progress has also been slowed by having a limited number of existing embryonic stem cell lines available for federally-funded medical research.

"Identifying a non-controversial source of primitive stem cells is a step in the right direction," Davis said.

Wharton's jelly, discovered in the mid-1600s by Thomas Wharton, a London physician, is the gelatinous connective tissue only found in the umbilical cord. The jelly gives the cord resiliency and pliability, and protects the blood vessels in the umbilical cord from compression.

As an embryo forms, some very primitive cells migrate between the region where the umbilical cord forms and the embryo. Some primitive cells just might remain in the matrix later in gestation or still be there even after the baby is born.

The K-State research team suggests that Wharton's jelly might be a reservoir of the primitive stem cells that form soon after the egg is fertilized.

Mitchell said, "Our results indicate that Wharton's jelly cells can be expanded in vitro, maintained in culture and induced to differentiate into neural cells. We think these cells can serve many therapeutic and biotechnological roles in the future."

The team now is evaluating human umbilical cord matrix cells to see if in addition to forming nerve tissues the cells also will differentiate into cardiac muscle and the cells that line the blood vessels.

They note that important progress is being made in the Weiss and Troyer labs where the researchers are looking at the ability of the umbilical cord matrix cells to form new neurons in the brain in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

The KSU Research Foundation has filed for U.S. patent protection for the recent discoveries, the method of culturing the stem cells, and a kit for salvaging umbilical cord stem cells after birth.

###

Funding for this research has come from the National Institutes of Health, a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence/COBRE award to the University of Kansas, with matching support from the state of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

For patent and commercialization information, contact the Mid-America Commercialization Corporation, 785-532-3900; or send e-mail to macc@ksu.edu. For more about stem cells, see the National Institutes of Health primer at http://www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/primer.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Umbilical Cord Matrix, A Rich New Stem Cell Source, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030122072949.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2003, January 22). Umbilical Cord Matrix, A Rich New Stem Cell Source, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030122072949.htm
Kansas State University. "Umbilical Cord Matrix, A Rich New Stem Cell Source, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030122072949.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins