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Mouse Adult Stem Cells Developed into Heart and Blood Cells
Date:4/30/2008

Key Step toward Clinical Testing of Stem Cells Developed from Patients'

Skin Cells

DURHAM, N.C., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers have succeeded in inducing stem cells grown from mouse skin cells to differentiate into functioning cardiovascular and blood cells, according to a study publishing online tomorrow in the journal "Stem Cells."

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080422/CLTU133LOGO-a )

"Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are reprogrammed cells obtained by genetic manipulation of normal adult cells that then express capabilities similar to embryonic stem cells," explains Dr. Miodrag Stojkovic, Co-Editor of "Stem Cells." "That is, iPS cells are theoretically able to differentiate into 220 different cell types. For the first time, scientists from UCLA were able to induce the differentiation of mouse iPS cells into functional heart cells, smooth muscle cells, and blood cells."

Katja Schenke-Layland and colleagues at UCLA performed a series of experiments using mouse iPS cells, using reprogrammed cells obtained from skin biopsies in adult mice. Although iPS cells are believed to be equivalent to embryonic stem cells, rigorous scientific studies are needed to confirm their potential to differentiate into specific types of cells.

Experiments in mice using iPS cells confirmed that the stem cells had differentiated into mature heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) and vascular smooth muscle cells (the specialized muscle cells lining the blood vessel walls). In addition, studies of cultured iPS cells showed markers characteristic of early cardiovascular and hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells. The iPS cells were essentially the same as mouse embryonic stem cells at the same stage of differentiation.

Using relatively simple laboratory techniques, the researchers were then able to induce iP
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SOURCE AlphaMed Press
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