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Cells Discarded From Womb Lining During A Woman's Period Are New Type Of Stem Cell

Date:
November 16, 2007
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
The cells which thicken the womb wall during a woman's menstrual cycle contain a newly discovered type of stem cell, and could be used in the treatment of damaged and/or old tissue, according to new research. The cells develop into at least 9 different cells including heart, liver and lung at a replication rate much faster than cells which are currently used, taken from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow.
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A) Morphology of freshly isolated menstrual blood mononuclear cells. B) Fibroblast-like morphology of menstrual blood mononuclear cells after 2-week cell culture. C) Clonal population of menstrual cells after plating in 96 well plate 1 week after cloning. D) The same population 2 weeks after cloning.
Credit: Image courtesy of BioMed Central

The cells which thicken the womb wall during a woman's menstrual cycle contain a newly discovered type of stem cell, and could be used in the treatment of damaged and/or old tissue, according to new research. 

Dr Xiaolong Meng of the Bio-Communications Research Institute in Wichita, Kansas, led the research team consisting of scientists from the University of Alberta, University of Western Ontario and Medistem Laboratories. The team identified a new type of stem cell that can be reproducibly isolated from menstrual blood collected from healthy female subjects.

"We have many problems with our current methods of stem cell therapy, like those taken from bone marrow," commented Dr Meng, "They may be rejected by the recipient and/or have limited potential to generate new tissue. Now we've found a possible new way to overcome these difficulties by using cells from menstrual blood."

The growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels is an essential part of the uterine or womb phase of the menstrual cycle. Cells collected from the menstrual blood of women include types which can be cultured in the laboratory, which replicate almost 70 times in a very rapid time span. This replication rate is far faster than cells which are currently used, taken from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow.

The cells are so unique in their ability to develop into at least 9 different cells including heart, liver and lung, that researchers called the cells Endometrial Regenerative Cells (ERC). Not only do ERC replicate at a phenomenal rate of almost every 20 hours, but they produce unique growth factors at a rate of almost 100,000 greater than cells from umbilical cord blood.

A mere 5ml of menstrual blood collected from a healthy woman provided enough cells which after two weeks of culture provided beating heart cells. The results of this breakthrough research indicate that these cells could be cultured at a large scale, thereby providing an alternative to the current methods of using bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, which itself poses threats of rejection.

This research was sponsored by Medistem Laboratories.

Article: Xiaolong Meng, Thomas E Ichim, Jie Zhong, Andrea Rogers, Zhenglian Yin, James Jackson, Hao Wang, Wei Ge, Vladimir Bogin, Kyle W Chan, Bernard Thebaud and Neil H Riordan, "Endometrial regenerative cells: A novel stem cell population"  Journal of Translational Medicine (in press)


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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BioMed Central. "Cells Discarded From Womb Lining During A Woman's Period Are New Type Of Stem Cell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115082303.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2007, November 16). Cells Discarded From Womb Lining During A Woman's Period Are New Type Of Stem Cell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115082303.htm
BioMed Central. "Cells Discarded From Womb Lining During A Woman's Period Are New Type Of Stem Cell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071115082303.htm (accessed August 31, 2015).

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