Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Salk scientists expand ability of stem cells to regrow any tissue type

07.04.2017

When scientists talk about laboratory stem cells being totipotent or pluripotent, they mean that the cells have the potential, like an embryo, to develop into any type of tissue in the body. What totipotent stem cells can do that pluripotent ones can't do, however, is develop into tissues that support the embryo, like the placenta. These are called extra-embryonic tissues, and are vital in development and healthy growth.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute, in collaboration with researchers from Peking University, in China, are reporting their discovery of a chemical cocktail that enables cultured mouse and human stem cells to do just that: generate both embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues.


Human EPS cells (green) can be detected in both the embryonic part (left) and extra-embryonic parts (placenta and yolk sac, right) of a mouse embryo.

Credit: Salk Institute

Their technique, described in the journal Cell on April 6, 2017, could yield new insights into mammalian development that lead to better disease modeling, drug discovery and even tissue regeneration. This new technique is expected to be particularly useful for modeling early developmental processes and diseases affecting embryo implantation and placental function, possibly paving the way for improved in vitro fertilization techniques.

"During embryonic development, both the fertilized egg and its initial cells are considered totipotent, as they can give rise to all embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages. However, the capture of stem cells with such developmental potential in vitro has been a major challenge in stem cell biology," says Salk Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Bemonte, co-senior author of the paper and holder of Salk's Roger Guillemin Chair. "This is the first study reporting the derivation of a stable stem cell type that shows totipotent-like bi-developmental potential towards both embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages."

Once a mammalian egg is fertilized and begins dividing, the new cells segregate into two groups: those that will develop into the embryo and those that will develop into supportive tissues like the placenta and amniotic sac. Because this division of labor happens relatively early, researchers often can't maintain cultured cell lines stably until cells have already passed the point where they could still become either type. The newly discovered cocktail gives stem cells the ability to stably become either type, leading the Salk team to dub them extended pluripotent stem (EPS) cells.

"The discovery of EPS cells provides a potential opportunity for developing a universal method to establish stem cells that have extended developmental potency in mammals," says Jun Wu, a senior scientist at Salk and one of the paper's first authors. "Importantly, the superior interspecies chimeric competency of EPS cells makes them especially valuable for studying development, evolution and human organ generation using a host animal species."

To develop their cocktail, the Salk team, together with the team from Peking University, first screened for chemical compounds that support pluripotency. They discovered that a simple combination of four chemicals and a growth factor could stabilize the human pluripotent stem cells at a developmentally less mature state, thereby allowing them to more efficiently contribute to chimera (a mix of cells from two different species) formation in a developing mouse embryo.

They also applied the same factors to mouse cells and found, surprisingly, that the newly derived mouse stem cells could not only give rise to embryonic tissue types but also differentiate into cells from the extra-embryonic lineages. Moreover, the team found that the new mouse stem cells have a superior ability to form chimeras and a single cell could give rise to an entire adult mouse, which is unprecedented in the field, according to the team.

"The superior chimeric competency of both human and mouse EPS cells is advantageous in applications such as the generation of transgenic animal models and the production of replacement organs," adds Wu. "We are now testing to see whether human EPS cells are more efficient in chimeric contribution to pigs, whose organ size and physiology are closer to humans." Human EPS cells, combined with the interspecies blastocyst complementation platform as reported by the same Salk team in Cell in January 2017, hold great potential for the generation of human organs in pigs to meet the rising demand for donor organs.

"We believe that the derivation of a stable stem cell line with totipotent-like features will have a broad and resounding impact on the stem cell field," says Izpisua Belmonte.

###

Other authors included: Takayoshi Yamauchi, Atsushi Sugawara and Zhongwei Li of Salk; Yang Yang, Bei Liu, Jun Xu, Jinlin Wang, Cheng Shi, Yaxing Xu, Jiebin Dong, Chengyan Wang, Weifeng Lai, Jialiang Zhu, Liang Xiong, Dicong Zhu, Xiang Li, Chen Li, Aibin He, Yaqin Du, Ting Wang, Chaoran Zhao, Haibo Li, Hongquan Zhang, Xiaochun Chi, and Huan Shen of Peking University; Weifeng Yang and Ming Yin of Beijing Vitalstar Biotechnology; Fangyuan Sun and Xiangyun Li of Hebei University; Yifang Liu of Tsinghua University; Cheng Li of Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences; Shuguang Duo of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The work was funded by: the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFA0100100), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31521004), the Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program (2014ZT05S216), the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China (2014B020226001), the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou, China (2016B030232001), the Ministry of Education of China (111 Project), the BeiHao Stem Cell and Q9 Regenerative Medicine Translational Research Institute, the Joint Institute of Peking University Health Science Center, University of Michigan Health System, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, the National Science and Technology Support Project (2014BAI02B01), the CAS Key Technology Talent Program, the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation, and The Moxie Foundation.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

Every cure has a starting point. The Salk Institute embodies Jonas Salk's mission to dare to make dreams into reality. Its internationally renowned and award-winning scientists explore the very foundations of life, seeking new understandings in neuroscience, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark: small by choice, intimate by nature and fearless in the face of any challenge. Be it cancer or Alzheimer's, aging or diabetes, Salk is where cures begin. Learn more at: salk.edu.

Media Contact

Salk Communications
press@salk.edu
858-344-0470

 @salkinstitute

http://www.salk.edu 

Salk Communications | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: embryonic tissues human stem cells pluripotent stem stem cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>