Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Umbilical cord matrix, a rich new stem cell source, study shows

17.01.2003


The cushioning material or matrix within the umbilical cord known as Wharton’s jelly is a rich and readily available source of primitive stem cells, according to findings by a research team at Kansas State University.



Animal and human umbilical cord matrix cells exhibit the tell-tale characteristics of all stem cells, the capacity to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple cell types.

Researchers Kathy Mitchell, Deryl Troyer, and Mark Weiss of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Duane Davis of the College of Agriculture carried out the studies.


The cells -- called cord matrix stem cells to distinguish them from cord blood cells -- can be obtained in a non-invasive manner from an abundant source of tissue that is typically discarded.

According to Weiss and Troyer, "Umbilical cord matrix cells could provide the scientific and medical research community with a non-controversial and easily attainable source of stem cells for developing treatments for Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancers and other conditions."

A paper, "Matrix cells from Wharton’s jelly form neurons and glia," appears Jan. 16 in the on-line version of the journal "Stem Cells."

Among the findings: Wharton’s jelly cells from pigs were propagated in the lab for more than a year without losing potency; they can be stored cryogenically and engineered to express foreign proteins.

The cells exhibit telomerase activity, a key indicator of stem cells, and they can be induced to form nerve cells, both neurons and glia, that produce a range of nerve-cell specific traits. Neurons are the nervous system cells that transmit signals; glial cells support the neurons.

On the basis of the encouraging results with animal tissue, the team broadened its investigations to human umbilical cord matrix cells with similar exciting findings -- human umbilical cord matrix cells differentiate into neurons, too.

Most of the promise of developing embryonic stem cell-based therapies for treating several degenerative diseases of the nervous system as well as other types of disease is hindered by the controversial nature of the cell sources. Research progress has also been slowed by having a limited number of existing embryonic stem cell lines available for federally-funded medical research.

"Identifying a non-controversial source of primitive stem cells is a step in the right direction," Davis said.

Wharton’s jelly, discovered in the mid-1600s by Thomas Wharton, a London physician, is the gelatinous connective tissue only found in the umbilical cord. The jelly gives the cord resiliency and pliability, and protects the blood vessels in the umbilical cord from compression.

As an embryo forms, some very primitive cells migrate between the region where the umbilical cord forms and the embryo. Some primitive cells just might remain in the matrix later in gestation or still be there even after the baby is born.

The K-State research team suggests that Wharton’s jelly might be a reservoir of the primitive stem cells that form soon after the egg is fertilized.

Mitchell said, "Our results indicate that Wharton’s jelly cells can be expanded in vitro, maintained in culture and induced to differentiate into neural cells. We think these cells can serve many therapeutic and biotechnological roles in the future."

The team now is evaluating human umbilical cord matrix cells to see if in addition to forming nerve tissues the cells also will differentiate into cardiac muscle and the cells that line the blood vessels.

They note that important progress is being made in the Weiss and Troyer labs where the researchers are looking at the ability of the umbilical cord matrix cells to form new neurons in the brain in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease.

The KSU Research Foundation has filed for U.S. patent protection for the recent discoveries, the method of culturing the stem cells, and a kit for salvaging umbilical cord stem cells after birth.

Funding for this research has come from the National Institutes of Health, a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence/COBRE award to the University of Kansas, with matching support from the state of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.



For patent and commercialization information, contact the Mid-America Commercialization Corporation, 785-532-3900; or send e-mail to macc@ksu.edu. For more about stem cells, see the National Institutes of Health primer at http://www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/primer.htm


Kathy E. Mitchell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/primer.htm

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays
18.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht Separating methane and CO2 will become more efficient
18.10.2017 | KU Leuven

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>