e disorder or disease could have a biopsy of their testes, which Dym says is a common procedure in patients suspected of having testicular cancer. Testes stem/progenitor cells those cells that can go on to produce sperm would be removed from the biopsy tissue, and grown in the laboratory with the addition of certain chemicals and growth factors. This causes the cells to revert back into an embryonic-like stem cell state, which could then be driven into chosen cell types.
"We are taking adult spermatogonial stem/progenitor cells, which in the body are unipotent, capable of only making sperm, and coaxing them back to embryonic-like stem cells, which are pluripotent," Dym says.
Once these new cell types are produced several weeks after initial collection they can be frozen and used at any point in the future, the researchers say.
He and the research team conducted the study using testes donated to GUMC from four organ donors, aged 16-52 years old.
"This is novel data which strengthens the argument for carrying out further research on pluripotent cells derived from human testes," Dym says.
The next step, he says, is to get differentiated cells to cure disease in animal models and the researchers are now working on a project that uses testes spermatogonial stem/progenitor cells that morphed into pancreatic cells to treat diabetes in mouse models of human diabetes.
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