"These cells can be obtained through a simple, non-invasive low-cost approach that avoids surgical procedures," said Yuanyuan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of regenerative medicine and senior researcher on the project.
Reporting online in the journal Stem Cells, the team successfully directed stem cells from urine to become bladder-type cells, such as smooth muscle and urothelial, the cells that line the bladder. But the urine-derived cells could also form bone, cartilage, fat, skeletal muscle, nerve, and endothelial cells, which line blood vessels. The multipotency of the cells suggests their use in a variety of therapies.
"These stem cells represent virtually a limitless supply of autologous cells for treating not only urology-related conditions such as kidney disease, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, but could be used in other fields as well," said Zhang. "They could also potentially be used to engineer replacement bladders, urine tubes and other urologic organs."
Being able to use a patient's own stem cells for therapy is considered advantageous because they do not induce immune responses or rejection. However, because tissue-specific cells are a very small subpopulation of cells, they can be difficult to isolate from organs and tissues.
Zhang's team first identified the cells, which are a small subset of the many cells found in urine, in 2006. The current research builds on earlier studies by confirming the multipotency of the cells. In addition, the research found that unlike iPS cells or embryonic stem cells, the urine derived-stem cells do not form tumors when implanted in the body, indicating they may be safe for use in patients.
The research involved obtaining urine samples from 17 healthy individuals ranging in age from five to 75 years. Isolating the cells from urine involves minimal processing, according to the authors. Next, they evaluated the cells' ability to become multiple cell types.
Importantly, the cells differentiated into the three tissue layers (endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm) that are a hallmark of true stem cells and also differentiated into the specific cell types mentioned earlier.
Next, the researchers placed cells that had been differentiated into smooth muscle and urothelial cells onto scaffolds made of pig intestine. When implanted in mice for one month, the cells formed multi-layer, tissue-like structures.
The urine-derived stem cells have markers of mesenchymal cells, which are adult stem cells from connective tissue such as bone marrow. They also have markers for pericytes, a subset of mesenchymal cells found in small blood vessels.
Where do the cells come from? Researchers suspect that the cells originate from the upper urinary tract, including the kidney. Female study participants who had received kidney transplants from male donors were found to have the y chromosome in their urine-derived stem cells, suggesting the kidney as the source of the cells.
"Identifying the origins of the cells will lead to a better understanding of the biology of this multipotent population of mesenchymal cells within the urinary tract system," said Zhang.
Co-researchers were Shantaram Bharadwaj, Ph.D., Guihua Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Yingai Shi, M.D., Ph.D., Rongpei Wu, M.D., Ph.D., Bin Yang, M.D., Ph.D., Anthony Atala, M.D., and Jan Rohozinski, Ph.D ., Wake Forest Baptist; Tong-chan He, M.D., Ph.D., the University of Chicago Medical Center; Yuxin Fan, M.D., Ph.D., and Xinyan Lu, M.D., Baylor College of Medicine; Xiaobo Zhou, Ph.D., the Methodist Hospital Research Institute; and Hong Liu, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma.
Media contacts: Karen Richardson, email@example.com, 336-716-4453; Media Relations Office, 336-716-4587.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is a fully integrated academic medical center located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The institution comprises Wake Forest School of Medicine, a leading center for medical education and research; Wake Forest Baptist Health, the integrated clinical structure that includes nationally ranked Brenner Children's Hospital; Wake Forest Innovations, which promotes the commercialization of research discoveries and operates Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, an urban research and technology park; plus a network of affiliated community hospitals, physician practices, outpatient services and other medical facilities. Wake Forest Baptist clinical programs and the School of Medicine are regularly ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences