Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have isolated a new source of adult stem cells that appear to have the potential to differentiate into several cell types. If their approach to growing these cells can be scaled up and proves to be safe and effective in animal and human studies, it could one day provide the tissue needed by an individual for treating a host of disorders, including peripheral nerve disease, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injury.
"We are very excited about this new source of adult stem cells that has the potential for a variety of applications," says senior author Xiaowei (George) Xu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology. "A number of reports have pointed to the fact that adult stem cells may be more flexible in what they become than previously thought, so we decided to look in the hair follicle bulge, a niche for these cells." Xu and colleagues report their findings in the latest issue of the American Journal of Pathology.
Hair follicles are well known to be a source for adult stem cells. Using human embryonic stem cell culture conditions, the researchers isolated and grew a new type of multipotent adult stem cell from scalp tissue obtained from the National Institute of Health's Cooperative Human Tissue Network.
The mutipotent stem cells grow as masses the investigators call hair spheres. After growing the "raw" cells from the hair spheres in different types of growth factors, the investigators were able to differentiate the stem cells into multiple lineages, including nerve cells, smooth muscle cells, and melanocytes (skin pigment cells).
The differentiated cells acquired lineage-specific markers and demonstrated appropriate functions in tissue culture, according to each cell type. For example, after 14 days, 20% to 40% of the cells in the melanocyte media took on a weblike shape typical of melanocytes. The new cells also expressed biomarkers typical of pigment cells and when placed in an artificial human skin construct, produced melanin and responded to chemical cues from normal epidermis skin cells.
After 14 days, about 10% of the stem cells in the neuronal cell line -- a type of cell not present in skin or hair -- grew dendrites, the long extensions typical of nerve cells and expressed neuronal proteins. The neurotransmitter glutamate was also present in the cells, but the neurotransmitter dopamine was not detected.
Thirdly, about 80% of the stem cells grown in the muscle media differentiated into smooth muscle cells. These new muscle cells also contracted when placed in a collagen matrix.
Overall, the researchers showed that human embryonic stem cell media could be used to isolate and expand a novel population of multipotent adult stem cells from human hair follicles. "Although we are just at the start of this research, our findings suggest that human hair follicles may provide an accessible, individualized source of stem cells," says Xu. The researchers are now working on inducing other cell types from the hair sphere cells and testing the cells in animal models. Study co-authors are Hong Yu, Suresh M. Kumar, and Geza Acs, all from Penn; and Dong Fang, Ling Li, Thiennga K. Nguyen, and Meenhard Herlyn, all from the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia.
Karen Kreeger | EurekAlert!
Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences