Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly Discovered Esophagus Stem Cells Grow Into Transplantable Tissue, Study Finds

Date:
December 24, 2008
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers have discovered stem cells in the esophagus of mice that were able to grow into tissue-like structures and when placed into immune-deficient mice were able to form parts of an esophagus lining.

Mouse esophagus stem cells have the capacity to contribute to the repair of esophageal epithelium after induction of injury.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered stem cells in the esophagus of mice that were able to grow into tissue-like structures and when placed into immune-deficient mice were able to form parts of an esophagus lining.

Related Articles


“The immediate implication is that we’ll have a better understanding of the role of these stem cells in normal biology, as well as in regenerative and cancer biology,” says senior author Anil K. Rustgi, MD, the T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicineand Genetics and Chief of Gastroenterology. “Down the road, we will develop a panel of markers that will define these stem cells and use them in replacement therapy for diseases like gastroesophogeal reflux disease [GERD] and also to understand Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal adenocarcinoma and how to reverse that before it becomes cancer.”

Diseases of the esophagus are very common in the United States and worldwide. “Benign forms include GERD and millions are affected,” notes Rustgi.

GERD can sometimes lead to inflammation of the esophagus, called esophagitis. “In some of these cases esophagitis can lead to a swapping of the normal lining of the esophagus with a lining that looks more like the intestinal lining and that’s called Barrett’s esophagus,” explains Rustgi. “This can lead to cancer of the esophagus, which is the fastest rising cancer in the US, increasing by 7 to 8 percent a year.”

The researchers set out to identify and characterize potential stem cells--those with the ability to self renew--in the esophagus to understand normal biology and how injured cells may one day be repaired.

First, they grew mouse esophageal cells they suspected were adult stem cells. Those cells formed colonies that self renewed. These cells then grew into esophageal lining tissue in a three-dimensional culture apparatus. “These tissue culture cells formed a mature epithelium sitting on top of the matrix,” says Rustgi. “The whole construct is a form of tissue engineering.”

The investigators then tested their pieces of esophageal lining in whole animals. When the tissue-engineered patches were transplanted under the skin of immunodeficient mice, the cells formed epithelial structures. Additionally, in a mouse model of injury of the esophagus in a normal mouse, which mimics what happens during acid reflux, green-stained stem cells migrated to the injured lining cells and co-labeled with the repaired cells, indicating involvement of the stem cells in tissue repair and regeneration.

Eventually the researchers will develop genetically engineered mouse models to be able to track molecular markers of esophageal stem cells found in a micorarray study. The group has already developed a library of human esophageal cell lines and is looking for human versions of markers already identified in mice.

“The ultimate goal is to identify esophageal stem cells in a patient, grow the patient’s own stem cells, and inject them locally to replace diseased tissue with normal lining,” says Rustgi.

The investigators report their findings online in December 2008 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Penn co-authors are Jiri Kalabis, Kenji Oyama, Takaomi Okawa, Hiroshi Nakagawa, Carmen Z. Michaylira, Douglas B. Stairs, and J. Alan Diehl (Department of Cancer Biology), as well as Jose-Luiz Figueiredo and Umar Mahmood from Massachusetts General Hospital, Molecular Center for Imaging Research, Boston, and Meenhard Herlyn, from The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia.

This work was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Newly Discovered Esophagus Stem Cells Grow Into Transplantable Tissue, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215184315.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2008, December 24). Newly Discovered Esophagus Stem Cells Grow Into Transplantable Tissue, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215184315.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Newly Discovered Esophagus Stem Cells Grow Into Transplantable Tissue, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215184315.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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