Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem cells from amniotic fluid: Reprogrammed amniotic fluid cells can generate all types of body cells

Date:
November 25, 2010
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
High hopes rest on stem cells: one day, they may be used to treat many diseases. To date, embryos are the main source of these cells, but this raises ethical problems. Scientists have now managed to convert amniotic fluid cells into pluripotent stem cells. These amniotic fluid-derived iPS cells are hardly distinguishable from embryonic stem cells. However, they "remember" where they came from.

Top: Before their reprogramming into amniotic fluid iPS cells, human amniotic fluid cells are outwardly distinguishable from embryonic stem cells. Bottom left: Amniotic fluid iPS cells produce OCT4 (green), one of the most important marker proteins for embryonic stem cells. Bottom right: Starting from this embryonic stem cell phase, the amniotic fluid iPS cells can form hepatocyte-like cells and others. They produce the plasma protein alpha-fetoprotein (red), which is abundant in fetal liver.
Credit: Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics

Reprogrammed amniotic fluid cells can generate all types of body cells. High hopes rest on stem cells: one day, they may be used to treat many diseases. To date, embryos are the main source of these cells, but this raises ethical problems. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have now managed to convert amniotic fluid cells into pluripotent stem cells. These amniotic fluid-derived iPS cells are hardly distinguishable from embryonic stem cells. However, they "remember" where they came from.

The research appears in the online journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.

The special abilities of embryonic stem cells can today be used in multiple "grown-up" cells (e.g. skin and hair cells). This is done by reprogramming the cells and converting them to "induced pluripotent stem cells" (iPS cells). These then possess the typical properties of embryonic stem cells, meaning they can generate any of the cell types of the human body (pluripotency), and they can multiply endlessly.

Stem cells with memory

The scientists have shown that the amniotic fluid iPS cells can form different human cell types. They have also discovered that induced pluripotent stem cells can remember the original cell type from which they were generated. During cellular reprogramming, various genes that control the development of stem cells are apparently switched on or remain active. This confirms other current research results, which show that iPS cells derived from distinct tissues are prone to follow their pre-destined developmental path upon spontaneous differentiation. "We don't know just yet whether this donor-cell type memory will have an impact on possible medical treatment, or which type of somatic cell-derived iPS cell will be most suitable for treatment," cautions Katharina Wolfrum of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics.

Amniotic fluid cells have a number of advantages over other cell types. For one thing, amniotic fluid cells are routinely harvested in antenatal examinations to enable the early detection of disease. In most cases, more cells are obtained than are actually needed. In addition, the amniotic fluid mixture contains different types of cells from the unborn child, including stem-cell-like cells. As they are not very old, they have fewer environmentally-induced mutations, making them genetically more stable. "This may mean that it is possible to reprogram these amniotic fluid cells faster and more easily than other cell types, making amniotic fluid-derived iPS cells an interesting complement to embryonic stem cells," explains James Adjaye of the Max Planck Institute in Berlin.

Moreover, amniotic fluid cells could be extracted for cellular reprogramming before the birth of a child and be prepared for their intended use while the pregnancy is still ongoing. "This would make it possible to test which drugs work for a baby and whether they are tolerated, before that baby is born. Moreover, in the future, sick newborns can be treated with cells from their own body," says Adjaye.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhongjun Zhou, Katharina Wolfrum, Ying Wang, Alessandro Prigione, Karl Sperling, Hans Lehrach, James Adjaye. The LARGE Principle of Cellular Reprogramming: Lost, Acquired and Retained Gene Expression in Foreskin and Amniotic Fluid-Derived Human iPS Cells. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (10): e13703 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013703

Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Stem cells from amniotic fluid: Reprogrammed amniotic fluid cells can generate all types of body cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101122093347.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2010, November 25). Stem cells from amniotic fluid: Reprogrammed amniotic fluid cells can generate all types of body cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101122093347.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Stem cells from amniotic fluid: Reprogrammed amniotic fluid cells can generate all types of body cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101122093347.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama 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:
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