Navigation Links
Mechanism that may trigger degenerative disease identified
Date:6/25/2010

A mechanism that regulates stem-cell differentiation in mice testes suggests a similar process that may trigger degenerative disease in humans, according to a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences reproductive physiologist.

Research involved manipulating a protein called STAT3 that signals stem cells to decide whether to differentiate into a specialized type of cell or self-renew and remain stem cells. By manipulating STAT3, researchers identified a key regulator of spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal.

The STAT3 protein, which is active in tissues throughout the body and is essential for life, regulates genes that are involved in cell growth and division, cell movement, and the self-destruction of cells. All tissue and organs within the body are based on a specific differentiated cell type, and these cells are constantly lost through cell death and aging. For the testis, the differentiated cell type is sperm.

Every time a stem cell divides, it produces two new cells. Self-renewal is the process by which this division results in a stem cell duplicating itself, thus maintaining a stem cell pool. Differentiation is when the stem cell division produces cells that will become the differentiated cells that maintain the function of the tissue or organ. Impairment of either of these stem-cell functions manifests as tissue and organ failure, so deciphering the mechanisms that regulate stem-cell activity is of utmost importance for devising treatments for degenerative diseases.

"We looked at a mechanism that is involved in the differentiation of stem cells, and we were actually able to shift that decision away from differentiation into self-renewal," said Jon Oatley, assistant professor of reproductive physiology, who led the study. "Right now we are at the ground level -- we discovered this in a mouse, and we hope we can start to look at it in human disease to see whether this pathway still holds true. We hope that down the line, as we study it further, we may be able to tie it to human disease."

Several key regulators of spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal have been identified, but knowledge of molecules that control spermatogonial stem cell differentiation is lacking, Oatley explained.

"In this study, we found that impairment of STAT3 signaling enhances spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal without affecting general proliferation of the cells. That indicates an alteration in the balance of spermatogonial stem cell fate decisions that inhibited differentiation in favor of self-renewal."

Much stem-cell research is done of necessity with mice, noted Oatley, who pointed out that scientists who use the mouse as a model for human biology make the assumption that what they learn about in a mouse is identical to what happens in a human.

"Ideally, any of us who work with mice would love to translate our work into humans, but the problem is that you can't get the tissue samples from humans, and you can't manipulate the genetics of humans to show what we want to learn," he said.

Oatley said he believes his research is a solid first step in helping scientists learn how to regulate STAT2 levels to treat or control degenerative disease in humans.


'/>"/>

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study identifies 1 of the mechanisms behind breast cancer metastasis
2. Pancreatic cancer study reveals mechanism initiating disease, in mice
3. Pancreatic Cancer Study Reveals Mechanism Initiating Disease, In Mice
4. Multiple sclerosis, Italian researchers discover a possible onset mechanism for the disease
5. Tumor mechanism identified
6. UCR researcher identifies mechanism malaria parasite uses to spread in red blood cells
7. IU research team discovers TB disease mechanism and molecule to block it
8. Discovery of mechanism in brain cell injury in Huntingtons offers new treatment approaches
9. Scientists uncover protective mechanism against liver cancer
10. Mechanism discovered by which bodys cells encourage tuberculosis infection
11. Newly discovered mechanism by which blood clots form
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... Coppin ... business owners and families in and around the Cape Coral area, is embarking on ... Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. , The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Fort Payne, AL (PRWEB) , ... December 08, ... ... enterprise offering insurance and financial consulting services to residential and commercial clients in ... raise awareness and support for Nobis Works. , Since 1977, Nobis Works has ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... , ... DrugDev again demonstrated its dedication to reducing the administrative ... adopters completing EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Certification from the U.S. Department of Commerce. , ... the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with EU data protection requirements when transferring ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... "Today, MHA and ... comprehensive mental health systems reform legislation in more than fifty years. We applaud ... commitment of our elected officials to improving mental health services and supports in ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... drug in their bodies, a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at ... , The study found that when young children are exposed to secondhand marijuana ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... NEW YORK , Dec. 8, 2016 ... ... such as reducing loss of blood during surgeries, lowering the ... surgeries, and decreasing risks of SSIs. The patient warming systems ... and intravascular warming systems.These benefits in turn reduce the stay ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... grow in 2017-2023. Various reasons for growth of the ... higher incidences of chronic diseases, high recovery cost of ... services. Medical lifting sling refers to an assistive ... mobility. These slings connect to the lift and hold ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... LONDON , Dec. 8, 2016 ... diagnostics includes products and tests that are used ... grass, weed, peanuts, milk, or drugs etc. in ... developed by the immune system. The report on ... future prospects of the market. The report consists ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: