Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) have taken the first major step toward isolating adult stem cells from mouse skin, having developed a test that confirms the presence and number of stem cells in a given amount of tissue. Until now, such a technique has only existed for isolating adult stem cells found in blood.
"This assay has opened up a whole new avenue of research," said Ruby Ghadially, MD, SFVAMC staff physician and UCSF associate professor of dermatology. "If you can determine how many stem cells you have, then you can identify distinguishing characteristics that will allow you to isolate the cells. We could then potentially use these cells as effective carrier cells for gene therapy and, someday, use them to produce new stem cells for treating burns and wounds in the skin," Ghadially said.
The study was published online September 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencess online early edition, and will appear in the print version of the journal September 30.
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