Human tissues normally discarded after surgical procedures could be a rich additional source of stem cells for regenerative medicine. New research shows for the first time that human fallopian tubes are abundant in mesenchymal stem cells which have the potential of becoming a variety of cell types.
It has previously been shown that mesenchymal stem cells obtained from umbilical cords, dental pulp and adipose tissue, which are all biological discards, are able to differentiate into muscle, fat, bone and cartilage cell lineages; therefore, the search for sources to obtain multipotent stem cells from discarded tissues and without ethical problems is of great interest.
Tatiana Jazedje, and the research team from Human Genome Research Centre at the University of São Paulo, directed by Mayana Zatz, with the collaboration of medical doctors from the reproductive area, set out to isolate and assess the differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells from discarded human fallopian tubes. In the study, human fallopian tubes were obtained from hysterectomy and other gynecological procedures from fertile women in their reproductive years (range 35-53 years) who had not undergone hormonal treatment for at least three months prior to surgery.
The Brazilian team found that human fallopian tube mesenchymal stem cells could be easily isolated and expanded in vitro, and are able to differentiate into muscle, fat, cartilage and bone cell lines. The cells' chromosome complement showed no abnormalities, suggesting chromosomal stability. Jazedje comments, "In addition to providing an additional potential source for regenerative medicine, these findings might contribute to reproductive science as a whole."
Jazedje concludes, "Moreover, the use of human tissue fragments that are usually discarded in surgical procedures does not pose ethical problems."
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