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Self-organized pituitary-like tissue from mouse ES cells
Date:11/14/2011

November 14, 2011 The possibility that functional, three-dimensional tissues and organs may be derived from pluripotent cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), represents one of the grand challenges of stem cell research, but is also one of the fundamental goals of the emerging field of regenerative medicine. Developmental biology has played a central role in informing such efforts, as it has been shown that stem cell differentiation can be directed to follow a given lineage pathway by culturing stem cells in conditions that recapitulate the specific cellular and molecular environment from which such cells normally emerge during embryogenesis. Intriguingly, recent work has shown that when ES cells are cultured under the appropriate conditions, they can be driven to self-organize into complex, three-dimensional tissue-like structures that closely resemble their physiological counterparts, a remarkable advance for the field.

New work by Hidetaka Suga of the Division of Human Stem Cell Technology, Yoshiki Sasai, Group Director of the Laboratory for Organogenesis and Neurogenesis, and others has unlocked the most recent achievement in self-organized tissue differentiation, steering mouse ESCs to give rise to tissue closely resembling the hormone-secreting component of the pituitary, known as the adenohypophysis, in vitro. Conducted in collaboration with Yutaka Oiso at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, this work was published in Nature.

The Sasai group has complied an impressive list of achievements in induced differentiation using an ES cell culture technique dubbed SFEBq (shorthand for "serum-free floating culture of embryoid body-like aggregates with quick re-aggregation"), including high-efficiency methods for the differentiation of dopaminergic, cerebral cortex, cerebellar Purkinje, and other neuronal cell types. In recent years, refinements of this approach have enable
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Contact: Douglas Sipp
sipp@cdb.riken.jp
RIKEN
Source:Eurekalert

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