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:6/27/2016)... ... ... TherapySites, the leading website and online marketing ... Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to extend their online ... and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this new partnership, as ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect Plugin ... whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels to split-up ... Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX users can ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are ... with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms ... can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, ... aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and ... necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , ... launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to ... #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... environments  Oticon , industry leaders in ... the launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s ... world of possibilities for IoT devices.      ... Opn, Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: