Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Fountain of youth' technique rejuvenates aging stem cells

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
A new method of growing cardiac tissue is teaching old stem cells new tricks. The discovery, which transforms aged stem cells into cells that function like much younger ones, may one day enable scientists to grow cardiac patches for damaged or diseased hearts from a patient's own stem cells -- no matter what age the patient -- while avoiding the threat of rejection.

This is an image of an aged stem cell after growth factors were added.
Credit: Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

A new method of growing cardiac tissue is teaching old stem cells new tricks. The discovery, which transforms aged stem cells into cells that function like much younger ones, may one day enable scientists to grow cardiac patches for damaged or diseased hearts from a patient's own stem cells -- no matter what age the patient -- while avoiding the threat of rejection.

Related Articles


Stem cell therapies involving donated bone marrow stem cells run the risk of patient rejection in a portion of the population, argues Milica Radisic, Canada Research Chair in Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto.

One method of avoiding the risk of rejection has been to use cells derived from a patient's own body. But until now, clinical trials of this kind of therapy using elderly patients' own cells have not been a viable option, since aged cells tend not to function as well as cells from young patients.

"If you want to treat these people with their own cells, how do you do this?"

It's a problem that Radisic and her co-researcher, Dr. Ren-Ke Li, think they might have an answer for: by creating the conditions for a 'fountain of youth' reaction within a tissue culture.

Li holds the Canada Research Chair in Cardiac Regeneration and is a Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, cross-appointed to IBBME. He is also a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute.

Radisic and Li first create a "micro-environment" that allows heart tissue to grow, with stem cells donated from elderly patients at the Toronto General Hospital.

The cell cultures are then infused with a combination of growth factors -- common factors that cause blood vessel growth and cell proliferation -- positioned in such a way within the porous scaffolding that the cells are able to be stimulated by these factors.

Dr. Li and his team then tracked the molecular changes in the tissue patch cells. "We saw certain aging factors turned off," states Li, citing the levels of two molecules in particular, p16 and RGN, which effectively turned back the clock in the cells, returning them to robust and healthy states.

"It's very exciting research," says Radisic, who was named one of the top innovators under 35 by MIT in 2008 and winner of the 2012 Young Engineers Canada award.

Li and Radisic hope to continue their goal to create the most effective environment in which cells from older patients can be given new life. "We can create much better tissues which can then be used to repair defects such as aneurysms," Li says, as well as repairing damage caused by heart attacks.

The study was recently released in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the top journal in the field of cardiovascular medicine.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kai Kang, Lu Sun, Yun Xiao, Shu-Hong Li, Jun Wu, Jian Guo, Shu-Ling Jiang, Lei Yang, Terrence M. Yau, Richard D. Weisel, Milica Radisic, Ren-Ke Li. Aged Human Cells Rejuvenated by Cytokine Enhancement of Biomaterials for Surgical Ventricular Restoration. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2012; 60 (21): 2237 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.08.985

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "'Fountain of youth' technique rejuvenates aging stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127191254.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2012, November 27). 'Fountain of youth' technique rejuvenates aging stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127191254.htm
University of Toronto. "'Fountain of youth' technique rejuvenates aging stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127191254.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
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