Stem cell researchers at UCLA have discovered that three types of cells derived from human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are similar to each other, but are much more developmentally immature than previously thought when compared to those same cell types taken directly from human tissue.
The researchers, from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, found that the progeny of the human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) were more similar to cells found within the first two months of fetal development than anything later. This could have implications both clinically and for disease modeling, said William Lowry, senior author of the study and an assistant professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology in the Life Sciences.
The two-year study was published today in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Research.
"Once we found that the human embryonic stem cell- and the iPS-derived progeny were similar, we wanted to understand how similar the progeny were to the same cells taken directly from human tissue," Lowry said. "What we found, looking at gene expression, was that the cells we derived were similar to cells found in early fetal development and were functionally much more immature than cells taken from human tissue. This finding may lead to exciting new ways to study early human development, but it also may present a challenge for transplantation, because the cells you end up with are not something that's indicative of a cell you'd find in an adult or even in a newborn baby."
There might also be challenges in disease modeling, unless you're modeling diseases that occur within the first two months of development, Lowry said.
Employing the most commonly used methods for deriving cells from embryonic stem cells and iPS cells, Lowry and his team differentiated these human pluripotent stem cells into neural pr
|Contact: Kim Irwin|
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences