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Scientists announce human intestinal stem cell 'breakthrough' for regenerative medicine
Date:9/4/2011

been made possible by close collaboration between Batlle's team and the group led by Hans Clevers at the Hubretcht Institute and University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands, and Mara A. Blasco at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid (Spain). "For years, scientists all over the world have been trying to grow intestinal tissue in lab-plates; testing different conditions; using different nutritive media. But because the vast majority of cells in this tissue are in a differentiated state in which they do not proliferate, they survived only for a few days", explains Jung. "The aim of this study was to find a way to identify and select individual CoSCs and to grow them while maintaining their undifferentiated and proliferative state in lab conditions. Thus, we would be able to model how they grow in number and differentiate into normal intestinal epithelial cells in lab-plates", continues Jung. The scientific community now has a defined 'recipe' for isolating CoSCs and deriving stable CoSCs lines, which have the capacity to grow undifferentiated for months. In fact, "now we can maintain stem cells in a plate up to 5 months or we can induce these cells to differentiate artificially, as they do inside our bodies".

"This achievement opens up an exciting new area of research with the potential to bring about a huge breakthrough in regenerative medicine", says Jung. Regenerative medicine or the idea of repairing the body by developing new tissues and organs as the old ones wear out involves growing new cells from patients into tissues and organs in a lab. However, the main element for making regenerative medicine a reality, namely adult stem cells, are just starting to be understood. "Now that guidelines for growing and maintaining colon stem cells in the lab are in place, we have an ideal platform that could help the scientific community to determine the molecular bases of gastrointestinal cell proliferation and differentiation. It is also s
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Contact: Itziar Castanedo
itziar.castanedo@irbbarcelona.org
34-934-031-301
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Source:Eurekalert

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