Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New mouse model makes stem cells light up green

02.02.2018

Multipotent stromal cells have long been a hot topic in medical research. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now found a way to specifically mark these stem cells. This makes it possible to analyze their distribution pattern and their function in living organisms. The study, which included researchers from Oxford University, Tsukuba University and the Karolinska Institute Stockholm, is now being published in the journal “Cell Stem Cell”.

In order to examine a particular cell type, one must first be able to clearly distinguish it from others. Biologists and physicians have therefore developed sophisticated methods for the live labeling of specific cells. For multipotent stromal cells however, this has until now only been possible to a limited extent.


Scientists at the University of Bonn have found a way to specifically mark multipotent stromal cells. These cells therefore light up green in the microscope image.

(c) Martin Breitbach/Uni Bonn


In the histology lab (from left): Dr. Martin Breitbach and Dr. Kenichi Kimura at the Institute of Physiology I of the University of Bonn.

© Photo: Rolf Müller/UKB-Ukom

This is particularly unsatisfactory, because these cells are a focal point of research interest, especially in regenerative medicine. For instance, it is known that they can become bone, fat or cartilage cells. Additionally, it is believed that they play a role in wound healing processes, but also in pathological events, for instance those that occur during vascular calcification (arteriosclerosis).

“In all these development and disease processes however, there are still many unanswered questions”, explains Dr. Martin Breitbach from the Institute of Physiology I at the University of Bonn. “Which is why we looked for a way to mark multipotent stromal cells in the living organism.”

To this end, the scientists searched for genetic information that is read frequently in the cells of interest, but is rather inactive in other cell types. They found what they were looking for in the so-called CD73 gene.

Live reporter indicates gene activity

They then generated transgenic mice, where expression of the CD73 gene results in green fluorescent labeling of the respective cell. “As CD73 is mainly active in the multipotent stromal cells, these are marked by a green glow”, explains Breitbach's co-author Dr. Kenichi Kimura.

This approach has in principle been established for many years. But until now, there was no known adequate marker for multipotent stromal cells that is well-suited to distinguishing them from other cells. “And we have now found this marker with the CD73 gene”, explains Kimura.

The dye-labeling made it possible to isolate these cells from the bone marrow. The scientists were then able to show that bone, fat and cartilage cells differentiate from a single multipotent stromal cell in the culture dish. “Our method makes it possible to examine the cells in their original state”, says Breitbach. “In future studies, it will for example be possible to clarify directly in the living animal whether and how the stem cells migrate to the different organs in the case of injury or illness, and what they do there.”

Chance discovery opens new perspectives

A result that the scientists themselves had not expected also opens up new research perspectives: In addition to the multipotent stromal cells, sinusoidal endothelial cells in the bone marrow are another cell type that appears to have increased CD73 activity.

The researchers were delighted about this discovery: It only became recently known that the maturation and distribution of hematopoietic stem cells are regulated by a variety of endothelial cell types. Sinusoidal endothelial cells probably play a key role here. But the underlying mechanisms are still rather puzzling. Because until recently, they too could not be stained specifically and thus distinguished from the other endothelial cells within the bone marrow.

The scientists have now purified the various cell populations and characterized the genetic fingerprint of the multipotent stromal cells and the sinusoidal endothelial cells in detail. “These findings are extremely interesting”, says Breitbach. “They provide deeper insights into these cell types and are a starting point for further studies.”

Publication: Martin Breitbach, Kenichi Kimura, Tiago C. Luis, Christopher J. Fuegemann, Petter S. Woll, Michael Hesse, Raffaella Facchini, Sarah Rieck, Katarzyna Jobin, Julia Reinhardt, Osamu Ohneda, Daniela Wenzel, Caroline Geisen, Christian Kurts, Wolfgang Kastenmüller, Michael Hölzel, Sten E. W. Jacobsen, Bernd K. Fleischmann: In vivo labeling by CD73 marks multipotent stromal cells and highlights endothelial heterogeneity in the bone marrow niche; Cell Stem Cell, 1.2.2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.01.008

Contact:

Dr. Martin Breitbach
Institute of Physiology I, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bonn
Tel. +49(0)228/732476
E-mail: mbreitba@uni-bonn.de

Prof. Dr. Bernd Fleischmann
Institute of Physiology I, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bonn
Tel. +49(0)228/6885200
E-mail: bernd.fleischmann@uni-bonn.de

Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>