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New Technique May Lead to Rejection-Free Adult Stem Cells

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 14 Aug 2012
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Patient-specific, blood-producing stem cells could soon be generated in the laboratory, eliminating the need for harvesting bone marrow--or finding a matching donor--for patients needing a bone marrow transplant. German scientists have generated blood-forming stem cells from pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory without using animal serum, a technique that could lead to the production of rejection-free adult stem cells.

Researchers Dr. Bernhard Schiedlmeier and Hannes Klump led the study, which was published August 6, 2012, in the journal STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

The scientists used mouse embryonic stem cells to grow blood-forming stem cells in low-oxygen conditions in the lab without using any serum or supportive cells known as stroma. When they transplanted the blood-forming cells into mice, they found the cells were capable of rebuilding the mice’s blood-forming system.

This findings means that scientists may ultimately be able to create blood stem cells from transplant patients in a laboratory instead of than using stem cells from unrelated donors, avoiding hazardous graft versus host reactions. “If our protocol can be adapted to humans and combined with induced pluripotent stem cell technology, it will open the door to producing adult stem cells that a patient’s body should not reject,” Dr. Klump said.

“These researchers have made progress toward the idea of one day using a patient’s own skin cells, or other cell types, to make blood-producing cells in the laboratory,” said Anthony Atala, MD, editor of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (Winston-Salem, NC, USA). “These findings are important for the translational aspects of using iPS cells.”

Dr. Schiedlmeier works in the department of experimental biology at Hannover Medical School (Germany) and Dr. Klump works at the Institute for Transfusion Medicine at University Hospital Essen (Germany).

Related Links:

Hannover Medical School
University Hospital Essen

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