Reporting in Oncogene, a publication of Nature Publishing Group, the research teams of Anthony Atala, M.D., director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Markus Hengstschläger, Ph.D., from the Medical University of Vienna, have shown that these amnion stem cells can form three-dimensional aggregates of cells known as embryoid bodies (EBs). It is believed that cells at this stage of development can be directed to become virtually any cell in the human body.
“This finding suggests that the amnion cells have greater potential than we originally thought and may be able to form many cell types,” said Atala. “This could expand the number for diseases and conditions that they may be helpful for.”
Atala’s team is currently evaluating the cells for their potential to treat diabetes and kidney disease. They were the first to report success (Nature Biotechnology, Jan. 2007) in isolating stem cells from placenta and amniotic fluid, which surrounds the developing fetus. The current research is one of several projects designed to determine the potential of this new type of stem cell.
For the study, scientists generated two additional lines of stem cells from amniotic fluid using the same protocol developed by Atala’s lab. They then investigated the incidence of EB formation in all three lines.
“Performing many independent experiments using different approaches, we demonstrate in the report that human amnion stem cells … can indeed form embryoid bodies,” write the researchers in Oncogene. “Amnion cells are on the way to become an important source for both basic science and regenerative medicine.”
In addition to the finding about EBs, the scientists identified a protein found inside cells (mTOR) as the regulator of EB formation. Hengstschläger, whose team was the first to provide evidence for the existence of stem cells in amniotic fluid, said that this finding may allow for new insights into the molecular mechanism of EB formation.
He said the cells may be a useful source for generating disease-specific stem cell lines for studying the differentiation process to determine what goes wrong in genetic diseases.
"These stem cells allow for studying the effects of mutations causing human genetic diseases on specific cell differentiation processes," he said.Other potential advantages of the cells are that they can be grown in large quantities and are readily available during gestation and at the time of birth.
“Whether these cells are as versatile as embryonic stem cells remains to be determined,” said Atala, “but the current finding is certainly encouraging.”
Atala stopped short of calling the cells pluripotent, which means the ability to form many cell types. He said while the cells meet some of the characteristics of pluripotency, such as versatility, they do not form tumors when implanted in animals, which is also considered a characteristic. The fact that the amnion cells are less likely to form tumors may be one advantage that they have over embryonic stem cells in their potential for clinical use.
Co-researchers were Alessandro Valli, Ph.D., Margit Rosner, student, Christiane Fuchs, MSc., Nicol Siegel, MSc., and Helmut Dolznig, Ph.D., from the Medical University of Vienna, Colin E. Bishop, Ph.D., from Wake Forest, and Ulrike Mädel, student, and Wilfried Feichtinger, M.D., from Wunschbaby Zentrum, in Vienna, Austria.About the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Karen Richardson | Newswise Science News
Further reports about: > EBS > Fluid > Hengstschläger > MSC > Medical Wellness > Medicine > Nature Immunology > Regenerative Therapien > Stem cell innovation > Versatility > amniotic > amniotic fluid > cell types > embryonic stem > embryonic stem cell > genetic disease > methanol fuel cells > oncogene > regenerative medicine > stem cells
Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes
15.01.2018 | Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
New method to map miniature brain circuits
15.01.2018 | The Francis Crick Institute
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood and adolescence. In this disease, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the...
15.01.2018 | Event News
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
15.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences