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Amniotic fluid cells more efficiently reprogrammed to pluripotency than adult cells
Date:3/15/2010

In a breakthrough that may help fill a critical need in stem cell research and patient care, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have demonstrated that skin cells found in human amniotic fluid can be efficiently "reprogrammed" to pluripotency, where they have characteristics similar to human embryonic stem cells that can develop into almost any type of cell in the human body. The study is online now and will appear in print in the next issue of the journal Cellular Reprogramming, to be published next month.

The Mount Sinai researchers found that when compared to cultured adult skin cells, the amniotic fluid skin cells formed stem cell colonies in about half the time and yielded nearly a 200 percent increase in number. Reprogramming fetal skin cells also cuts significantly the cost of generating patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells when compared to reprogramming other cell types.

"There remains today a need in stem cell research for an easily reprogrammable cell type," said the study's lead author, Dr. Katalin Polgar, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Our study shows that reprogramming of cultured, terminally differentiated amniotic fluid cells results in pluripotent stem cells that are identical to human embryonic stem cells, and that it is much easier, faster and more efficient than reprogramming neonatal and adult cells."

Amniotic fluid skin cells can be safely obtained from pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis at about 15 weeks of pregnancy as part of a diagnostic workup for chromosome aberrations and other genetic diseases. About 99 percent of cells found in amniotic fluid are terminally differentiated cells mostly from fetal skin, which are shed into the amniotic fluid as a fetus develops. Since these cells can be reprogrammed to pluripotency more efficiently than other cell types, they could be an imp
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Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
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212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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