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
Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel
The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Information Technology
05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences