Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell therapy: New mouse model promises to advance research on induced pluripotent stem cells

Date:
February 21, 2013
Source:
VIB
Summary:
Cell therapy is a promising alternative to tissue and organ transplantation for diseases that are caused by death or poor functioning of cells. Considering the ethical discussions surrounding human embryonic stem cells, a lot is expected of the so-called 'induced pluripotent stem cells' (iPS cells). However, before this technique can be applied effectively, a lot of research is required into the safety and efficacy of such iPS cells. Scientists have now developed a mouse model that can advance this research to the next step.

Cell therapy is a promising alternative to tissue and organ transplantation for diseases that are caused by death or poor functioning of cells. Considering the ethical discussions surrounding human embryonic stem cells, a lot is expected of the so-called 'induced pluripotent stem cells' (iPS cells). However, before this technique can be applied effectively, a lot of research is required into the safety and efficacy of such iPS cells. VIB scientists associated to the UGent have developed a mouse model that can advance this research to the next step.

Lieven Haenebalcke (VIB/UGent): "iPS cells have enormous therapeutic potential, but require more thorough testing before they can be used for such purposes. Using our new mouse model, we can study which mechanisms determine the identity of a cell. This knowledge is essential before we can use cell therapy for regenerative medicine."

Jody Haigh (VIB/UGent): "If we want to give cell therapy a future, then we must continue this type of research and invest in the further development of such technologies. This will result in an improved insight into cellular identity and -- in the long term -- safer options of applying iPS cells or cells derived from iPS cells in clinical studies."

Cell therapy -- replacing cells to provide a cure

Cell therapy is the replacement of lost or poorly functioning cells in patients. For example, such cell therapies could be used to repair the heart muscle after a heart attack, joints affected by arthritis, the pancreas in diabetes or the spine in certain forms of paralysis. This requires cells that are able to multiply in the laboratory and that can be converted to healthy cells of the desired cell type. Human embryonic stem cells meet these criteria, but they are ethically controversial.

iPS cells -- a promising alternative to embryonic stem cells

Shinya Yamanaka recently developed a fairly simple method to reprogram differentiated cells -- such as skin cells -- back to stem cells, so-called "induced pluripotent stem cells" (iPS cells). This earned him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2012 (shared with John Gurdon). These iPS cells can be generated using only 4 "reprogramming factors."

As is the case with embryonic stem cells, these iPS cells can be used to produce other cell types, such as heart muscle cells or nerve cells. They can also be cultured indefinitely and there are no ethical objections as they are not obtained from human embryos left over after IVF, but from adult individuals. Furthermore, iPS cells are obtained from the patient and this reduces the risk of rejection during therapeutic applications.

Essential research possible

Before iPS cells can be used effectively and safely as a therapy, it is essential that we gain clear insight into which molecular mechanisms determine the identity of a cell; why and how a cell develops into -- for example -- a heart muscle cell, a nerve cell or a blood cell. In order to do so, Lieven Haenebalcke and Jody Haigh have developed a mouse model that will enable them to conduct this research. They succeeded in creating iPS cells from a variety of mouse cells. Furthermore, the new model allows the investigators to replace the 4 reprogramming factors in these iPS cells efficiently with specific genes in order to create targeted different cell types, such as functional heart muscle cells.

Lieven Haenebalcke (VIB/UGent): "It enables us to study in a relatively simple manner the molecules that play a role in the formation and the identity of various cell types. Using this knowledge, we can then manipulate the identity of cells in a more targeted fashion and then conduct pre-clinical tests to determine whether these new cells are suitable, for example to repair heart tissue or blood vessels."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Lieven Haenebalcke, Steven Goossens, Pieterjan Dierickx, Sonia Bartunkova, Jinke D’Hont, Katharina Haigh, Tino Hochepied, Dagmar Wirth, Andras Nagy, Jody J. Haigh. The ROSA26-iPSC Mouse: A Conditional, Inducible, and Exchangeable Resource for Studying Cellular (De)Differentiation. Cell Reports, 2013; 3 (2): 335 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.01.016

Cite This Page:

VIB. "Cell therapy: New mouse model promises to advance research on induced pluripotent stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221084616.htm>.
VIB. (2013, February 21). Cell therapy: New mouse model promises to advance research on induced pluripotent stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221084616.htm
VIB. "Cell therapy: New mouse model promises to advance research on induced pluripotent stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221084616.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) 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