"Stem cells prepared by this new procedure should be much safer to use in patients," Dr. Roberts noted. "Also, the technique opens up opportunities to treat various illnesses by injecting a drug that stimulates patients to make more of their own stem cells."
According to Dr. Isenberg, "These experiments indicate that we can take a primary human or other mammalian cell, even a mature adult cell, and by targeting CD47 turn on its pluripotent capability. We can get brain cells, liver cells, muscle cells and more. In the short term, they could be a boon for a variety of research questions in the lab."
In the future, blocking CD47 might make it possible to generate large numbers of healthy cells for therapies, such as alternatives to conventional bone marrow transplantation and complex tissue and organ bioengineering, he added.
"These exciting findings provide a rationale for using CD47 blocking therapies to increase stem cell uptake and survival in transplanted organs, matrix grafts, or other applications," said Mark Gladwin, M.D., professor and chief, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Pitt School of Medicine. "This continues a strong and productive collaboration between investigators at the NCI and the University of Pittsburgh's Vascular Medicine Institute."
|Contact: Anita Srikameswaran|
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences