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

ortant source for generating stem cells for basic research and future therapies and may be used to study and potentially cure fatal embryonic diseases with prenatal, perinatal gene therapy.

"We induced amniotic fluid skin cells to return from their final differentiated stage back to an undifferentiated stem cell stage from where they can develop into any cell type of the body," said Dr. Polgar. "

Amniotic fluid cells work much better than any other cell types when turning back their 'internal clock.' These cells can potentially be used as a model system in studying different regenerative therapies for diseases of the heart, liver, kidney, lung, pancreas, as well as for replacement of lost neurons in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, even for cancer vaccines. They may also be used for future personalized stem cell banks. As the pluripotent stem cells induced from amniotic fluid skin cells are the patient's own cells, there is no risk of immunorejection or teratocarcinoma formation.

"Additionally, stem cells reprogrammed from amniotic fluid skin cells could be used for drug discovery in disease models," added Dr. Polgar. "Their potential use in toxicology models could reduce the need for experimental animals. Developing cell lines from individual amniotic fluid samples can accelerate the development of existing targets for different diseases. This all will bring new opportunities to explore innovative therapeutic models or targets in regenerative personalized medicine."

The scientists were able to genetically reprogram the amniotic fluid skin cells using the four transcription factors (proteins that regulate the transcription of genes) OCT3/4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC. After reprogramming, the cells were found to be identical to human embryonic stem cells in numerous ways, including for morphological and growth characteristics, antigenic stem cell markers, stem cell gene expression, and telomerase activity, in vitro and in vivo differentiation
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