Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New method of obtaining embryonic stem cells could reduce embryo wastage

20.06.2005


Scientists in the USA have discovered a new way of obtaining embryonic stem cells that avoids contamination by other types of cells and reduces the numbers of embryos needed to create embryonic stem cell lines.



Dr Takumi Takeuchi told the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Monday 20 June) that if he and his colleagues could replicate the research, which had been carried out in mice, in humans, it would make it easier to collect embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and could make it possible to establish ESC banks. This would enable researchers to have easy access to ESCs to develop better treatments for patients suffering from a range of diseases, as well as for research on fertility.

Until now, embryonic stem cells have been collected from embryos that have developed to the blastocyst stage. In humans this occurs at about day five of development. Before the ESHRE conference began, lead author, Dr Ameeta Bahia, a senior andrologist who works with Professor Gianpiero Palermo at the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, explained: "Blastocysts are composed of two components: an external one, defined as the trophoblast of about 55 cells that will form the placenta, and a polar mass of about 20 cells, defined as the inner cell mass (ICM) that will generate the embryo and from which we obtain the stem cells. In order to obtain ESCs from the blastocyst, we first have to isolate the ICM from the trophoblast. However, this often results in contamination of ESC cultures by trophoblastic or endodermal cells. Moreover, barely 50% of human fertilised eggs reach the blastocyst stage after being cultured in the laboratory. Therefore, the possibility of harvesting ESCs at an earlier stage of embryo development is enticing."


Dr Bahia took 46 individual cells (blastomeres) from six two-day mouse embryos, which were composed of eight cells. The blastomeres were cultured in the laboratory, and 43 of them started to divide and grow. After about two days, 22 of them started to form ICM-like structures. From these, Dr Bahia managed to establish one ESC line. From a control group of 51 blastocysts, she obtained nine ESC lines.

Dr Takeuchi, also from the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, told the conference: "This showed that it was possible to isolate and culture blastomeres that were capable of developing into any type of cell, including stem cells, from early stage embryos. The efficiency was comparable to the yield from intact blastocysts. Although the percentage is similar between the two groups, the eight-cell approach wasted only five embryos, while 42 blastocysts (or embryos), made up of about 75 cells each, were lost in the other group. Therefore, if we could replicate the technique in humans it would reduce the wastage of precious material.

"We plan to reproduce this experiment with human embryos. The procedures could be performed on single blastomeres, extracted from embryos during preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and which are destined to be transferred into women patients as part of assisted reproduction.

"Although this research is still at an early stage, it represents a great opportunity to isolate ESCs from poor quality embryos at an early stage of development, thereby reducing embryo wastage, and it also introduces the possibility of ESC banking."

In mice almost all the fertilised eggs (zygotes) divide and about 90% of these reach the blastocyst stage. In humans, on the other hand, 70-80% of the zygotes divide until day three (eight-cell stage) and only about 50% reach the blastocyst stage. Dr Bahia said: "This raises the possibility that it may be easier to culture human blastomeres, isolated from an early stage embryo, instead of waiting for the blastocyst to develop."

Mary Rice | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.eshre.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | 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

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>