Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Umbilical cord matrix, a rich new stem cell source, study shows

17.01.2003


The cushioning material or matrix within the umbilical cord known as Wharton’s jelly is a rich and readily available source of primitive stem cells, according to findings by a research team at Kansas State University.



Animal and human umbilical cord matrix cells exhibit the tell-tale characteristics of all stem cells, the capacity to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple cell types.

Researchers Kathy Mitchell, Deryl Troyer, and Mark Weiss of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Duane Davis of the College of Agriculture carried out the studies.


The cells -- called cord matrix stem cells to distinguish them from cord blood cells -- can be obtained in a non-invasive manner from an abundant source of tissue that is typically discarded.

According to Weiss and Troyer, "Umbilical cord matrix cells could provide the scientific and medical research community with a non-controversial and easily attainable source of stem cells for developing treatments for Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancers and other conditions."

A paper, "Matrix cells from Wharton’s jelly form neurons and glia," appears Jan. 16 in the on-line version of the journal "Stem Cells."

Among the findings: Wharton’s jelly cells from pigs were propagated in the lab for more than a year without losing potency; they can be stored cryogenically and engineered to express foreign proteins.

The cells exhibit telomerase activity, a key indicator of stem cells, and they can be induced to form nerve cells, both neurons and glia, that produce a range of nerve-cell specific traits. Neurons are the nervous system cells that transmit signals; glial cells support the neurons.

On the basis of the encouraging results with animal tissue, the team broadened its investigations to human umbilical cord matrix cells with similar exciting findings -- human umbilical cord matrix cells differentiate into neurons, too.

Most of the promise of developing embryonic stem cell-based therapies for treating several degenerative diseases of the nervous system as well as other types of disease is hindered by the controversial nature of the cell sources. Research progress has also been slowed by having a limited number of existing embryonic stem cell lines available for federally-funded medical research.

"Identifying a non-controversial source of primitive stem cells is a step in the right direction," Davis said.

Wharton’s jelly, discovered in the mid-1600s by Thomas Wharton, a London physician, is the gelatinous connective tissue only found in the umbilical cord. The jelly gives the cord resiliency and pliability, and protects the blood vessels in the umbilical cord from compression.

As an embryo forms, some very primitive cells migrate between the region where the umbilical cord forms and the embryo. Some primitive cells just might remain in the matrix later in gestation or still be there even after the baby is born.

The K-State research team suggests that Wharton’s jelly might be a reservoir of the primitive stem cells that form soon after the egg is fertilized.

Mitchell said, "Our results indicate that Wharton’s jelly cells can be expanded in vitro, maintained in culture and induced to differentiate into neural cells. We think these cells can serve many therapeutic and biotechnological roles in the future."

The team now is evaluating human umbilical cord matrix cells to see if in addition to forming nerve tissues the cells also will differentiate into cardiac muscle and the cells that line the blood vessels.

They note that important progress is being made in the Weiss and Troyer labs where the researchers are looking at the ability of the umbilical cord matrix cells to form new neurons in the brain in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease.

The KSU Research Foundation has filed for U.S. patent protection for the recent discoveries, the method of culturing the stem cells, and a kit for salvaging umbilical cord stem cells after birth.

Funding for this research has come from the National Institutes of Health, a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence/COBRE award to the University of Kansas, with matching support from the state of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.



For patent and commercialization information, contact the Mid-America Commercialization Corporation, 785-532-3900; or send e-mail to macc@ksu.edu. For more about stem cells, see the National Institutes of Health primer at http://www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/primer.htm


Kathy E. Mitchell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/primer.htm

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens
14.08.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments
14.08.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>