Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tissue cells can revert to stem cells

15.03.2004


Scientists at the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore, MD, have found that certain cells involved in egg development in the fruitfly can be stimulated to revert to fully functioning stem cells. "This finding could lead to new sources of stem cells from other tissues and other animals," commented Dr. Allan Spradling, director of the Carnegie department and co-author of the study published in the March 14 online issue of Nature.



The research conducted by Spradling — a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator — and colleague Dr. Toshie Kai, involved so-called germline stem cells of the female fruitfly. These cells are precursors to eggs and begin their journey as stem cells living in a special environment called a niche. In the niche, a stem cell splits into two daughter cells, one of which leaves the niche to begin its transformation. Through a series of 4 divisions a cluster of 16 cells forms — an immature egg with 15 accompanying nurse cells. The researchers discovered that the cells in clusters of 4 and 8 cells can still return to the stem-cell state under appropriate conditions. Moreover, the reverted stem cells worked as well as normal stem cells. Flies with only reverted stem cells were as fertile as normal flies throughout adult life.

"For most stem cells, it has not been possible yet to determine how quickly their progeny cells lose the ability to function again as stem cells," Spradling noted. "In the fruitfly (Drosophila) ovary we could directly test this and found conditions where the cluster cells reverted to a stem-cell state and functioned throughout the entire life of the adult. We don’t know yet if this will be a general result that applies to other stem cells," cautioned Kai. "The progeny of germline stem cells might develop relatively slowly compared with other stem cell progeny, and thus retain their ’stemness’ longer."


The scientists made their discovery by placing the cell clusters in an unusual environment, the immature ovary of a developing Drosophila larva. "We think that two factors present in the larval ovary may have helped cause the cells to revert back to stem cells," Kai commented. "First, the larval ovary has an abundant supply of the fruitfly protein that is analogous to a protein (BMP4) involved in germ-cell development in developing mammalian embryos. It is required by fruitfly germline stem cells and maintains them in the niche. Second, the cells in the larval ovary are unlikely to block reversion, in contrast to the cells that cluster cells encounter normally." Providing the proper conditions for reversion is likely to be a major issue in future attempts to revert differentiating cells back into stem cells.

"Differentiated or partially differentiated cells are much more common in the body than stem cells," Spradling noted. "So harnessing them could be a valuable strategy in efforts to enhance tissue repair. Some animals that can regenerate lost parts seem to utilize differentiated cells as a source of progenitors, and not just pre-existing stem cells. We are very excited about what further studies in the fruitfly and other animals might show us," Spradling concluded.

Dr. Allan Spradling | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ciw.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>