MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA A noninvasive, polarized light microscope invented at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) played a crucial role in a recent breakthrough in embryonic stem-cell research aimed at developing medical therapies.
A team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., of Oregon Health & Science University reported the successful derivation of stem cells from cloned monkey embryos in the November 22 issue of Nature. While embryonic stem cells have been made from cloned embryos in a mouse, this is the first time they have been produced in a primate.
In humans, this method for deriving stem cells is a potential way to make custom tissues that are genetically identical to a patient, which would avoid rejection by the patients immune system. Stem cells, in theory, can be induced to become any type of cell, tissue or organ. However, in recent years, some investigators had claimed it wouldnt be technically possible to make embryonic stem cells from monkeys or humans using this method (somatic cell nuclear transfer, or therapeutic cloning).
Mitalipovs stem-cell derivation succeeded, he says, largely due to the Oosight microscope system developed by Cambridge Research & Instrumentation Inc. (CRi) of Woburn Mass., using technology invented at the MBL by senior scientist Rudolf Oldenbourg, Ph.D., and research associate Guang Mei, Ph.D. Former MBL research scientists David L. Keefe, M.D., and Lin Liu, Ph.D., both of whom teach in the MBLs Frontiers in Reproduction course, worked with Oldenbourg to adapt the technology for somatic cell nuclear transfer and embryology.
The use of the Oosight was one of the major modifications we made in our present work, Mitalipov says.
The Oosight allowed Mitalipovs team to clearly see and remove the meiotic spindle (and the attached genetic material) from 304 female rhesus monkey eggs. This is the first step in therapeutic cloning, called enucleation. Next, they inserted the genetic
|Contact: Diana Kenney|
Marine Biological Laboratory