Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New stem cell source could boost bone marrow success

09.02.2005


Uncharted area of umbilical cord offers hope



University of Toronto researchers have discovered an ample source of stem cells in an uncharted part of the umbilical cord, providing new hope for bone marrow transplants and tissue repair.

The study, published in the February issue of Stem Cells, outlines how researchers discovered that the jelly-like connective tissue surrounding the blood vessels of the human umbilical cord, the so-called "Wharton’s Jelly," is rich in mesenchymal progenitor cells – cells that generate bone, cartilage and other tissues – and can be harvested to generate an abundant supply in a short amount of time. This expandable source of progenitor cells could greatly improve bone marrow transplantation, a painful yet common procedure that currently has a 30 to 40 per cent success rate in treating disease.


Professor John Davies of U of T’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and the study’s lead author, says that the cells around the vessels – human umbilical cord perivascular (HUCPV) cells – were often discarded because previous research has concentrated only on the cord blood, where the frequency of mesenchymal stem cells is only one in 200 million. The frequency in the HUCPV cells is one in 300. "We hypothesized that since the umbilical cord grows so rapidly during fetal development, there must be some source producing these mesenchymal stem cells," says Davies. "We found that the jelly tissue immediately around the vessels had the richest population of these cells. Once we isolate them, it only takes 21 days to generate enough stem cells for up to 1000 therapeutic cell doses."

Bone marrow transplants treat diseases such as cancers and immune deficiency disorders by replacing diseased cells with fresh ones found inside bones. The transplant requires hematopoietic stem cells (blood-forming stem cells) and, ideally mesenchymal stem cells too, both of which are found in the marrow, to work efficiently. Other research indicates that infusing the marrow with added mesenchymal stem cells can increase the transplant success rate.

"Mesenchymal stem cells can leave the marrow during injury and actually home to the tissue which is damaged," says Davies. "This is why these cells are very important to us in an ongoing state of tissue repair throughout life." Davies says that administering extra mesenchymal progenitor cells can also help repair broken bones or build new cartilage.

To harvest the HUCPV cells, Davies and his team split open umbilical cords and pulled out the blood vessels with their surrounding Wharton’s Jelly. (All the cords come from consenting full-term patients.) The vessels were sutured closed and suspended in collagenase, an enzyme that breaks down the Wharton’s Jelly around the vessels to release the cells inside. The HUCPV cells were then isolated and cultivated in vitro.

Many parents already freeze the cord blood cells containing hematopoietic stem cells, but U of T professor Bill Stanford, also part of the IBBME, and his wife who is also a stem cell researcher were the first to take advantage of the study by freezing the HUCPV cells in their son’s umbilical cord. Their son was born in April 2004. "Any parent who banks their cord blood or, in this case, the HUCPV cells, hopes they never have to use them," says Stanford. "We were already banking our son’s cord blood cells so why not bank his HUCPV cells? The data in this study just got better and better and we were too impressed by this source of stem cells not to take advantage of this biological insurance."

According to Davies, the next step is to test the HUCPV cells in immunological compromised animals such as mice. "While we still have some way to go until this therapy is ready for clinical trials, I am hopeful HUCPV cells could radically improve the success of bone marrow transplants," he says.

J.E. Davies | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>