Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem Cell Surprise For Tissue Regeneration

Date:
August 4, 2009
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Scientists have overturned previous research that identified critical genes for making muscle stem cells. It turns out that the genes that make muscle stem cells in the embryo are surprisingly not needed in adult muscle stem cells to regenerate muscles after injury. The finding challenges the current course of research into muscular dystrophy, muscle injury and regenerative medicine; it also favors using age-matched stem cells for therapy.

Scientists working at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Embryology, with colleagues, have overturned previous research that identified critical genes for making muscle stem cells. It turns out that the genes that make muscle stem cells in the embryo are surprisingly not needed in adult muscle stem cells to regenerate muscles after injury. The finding challenges the current course of research into muscular dystrophy, muscle injury, and regenerative medicine, which uses stem cells for healing tissues, and it favours using age-matched stem cells for therapy.

Related Articles


The study is published in the June 25 advance online edition of Nature.

Previous studies have shown that two genes Pax3 and Pax7, are essential for making the embryonic and neonatal muscle stem cells in the mouse. Lead researcher Christoph Lepper, a predoctoral fellow in Carnegie's Chen-Ming Fan's lab and a Johns Hopkins student, for the first time looked at these two genes in promoting stem cells at varying stages of muscle growth in live mice after birth.

As Christoph explained: "The paired-box genes, Pax3 and Pax7 are involved in the development of the skeletal muscles. It is well established that both genes are needed to produce muscle stem cells in the embryo. A previous student, Alice Chen, studied how these genes are turned on in embryonic muscle stem cells (also published in Nature). I thought that if they are so important in the embryo, they must be important for adult muscle stem cells. Using genetic tricks, I was able to suppress both genes in the adult muscle stem cells. I was totally surprised to find that the muscle stem cells are normal without them."

The researchers then looked at whether the same was true upon injury, after which the repair process requires muscle stem cells to make new muscles. For this, they injured the leg muscles between the knee and ankle. They were again surprised that these muscle stem cells, without the two key embryonic muscle stem cell genes, could generate muscles as well as normal muscle stem cells. They even performed a second round of injury and found that the stem cells were still active.

The scientists then wondered when these genes become unnecessary for muscle stem cells to regenerate muscles. It turned out that these embryonic genes are important to muscle stem cell creation up to the first three weeks after birth. What makes the muscle stem cells different after three weeks? The scientist believe that these two embryonic muscle stem cell genes also tell the stem cells to become quiet as the organism matures. After that time is reached, they "hand over" their jobs to a different set of genes. The researchers suggest that since the adult muscle stem cells are only activated when injury occurs (by trauma or exercise), they use a new set of genes from those used during embryonic development, which proceeds without injury. The scientists are eager to find these adult muscle stem cell genes.

"We are just beginning to learn the basics of stem cell biology, and there are many surprises," remarked Allan Spradling, director of Carnegie's Department of Embryology. "This work illustrates the importance of carrying out basic research using animal models before rushing into the clinic with half-baked therapies."

The research was funded by the Carnegie Institution, NIH, and the Riley Children's Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Stem Cell Surprise For Tissue Regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625085340.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2009, August 4). Stem Cell Surprise For Tissue Regeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625085340.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Stem Cell Surprise For Tissue Regeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625085340.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
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