Navigation Links
New Kind of Stem Cells Reverse Sickle Cell Anemia
Date:12/6/2007

Mouse study proves these stem cells could treat diseases, though dangers remain

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) --Scientists have succeeded in using cells virtually identical to embryonic stem cells to "correct" sickle cell anemia in mice.

The breakthrough was made possible by another advance announced barely two weeks ago that scientists had created "induced pluripotent stem" (iPS) cells from human skin cells. These iPS cells are very similar, although not exactly identical, to embryonic stem cells. The process bypasses the need to use embryos, and thus circumvents many of the ethical complications surrounding this type of research.

The first research announcement had left open the question of whether iPS cells could actually be used for therapeutic purposes.

That question has now been at least partially answered by this latest report.

"This study is important as a proof of principle that these iPS cells can be used to correct mutations," said Dr. Jacob Hanna, lead author of the study, which is published in the Dec. 6 online issue of Science Express.

Hanna is a postdoctoral fellow in Rudolf Jaenisch's laboratory at The Whitehead Institute in Boston.

"It's very fascinating that they're using these reprogrammed cells to make hematopoietic cells [which can produce different blood and immune cells] to then treat the genetic defect in these mice," said Paul Sanberg, director of the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa.

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they have the capacity to develop into virtually any cell type in the body. The hope is that such cells may one day yield treatments or cures for diseases such as diabetes, liver failure, spinal injury, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.

However, harvesting embryonic stem cells involves destroying a viable embryo, stirring much political debate. In the United States, embryonic stem cell research has been severely limited since August 2001, when President George W. Bush placed limits on federal funding of the field and restricted the number of embryonic stem cell lines that could be used.

Since that time, researchers have been racing to find other sources of viable stem cells -- iPS cells are one outcome of that race.

For this study, Hanna and his colleagues used a process similar to the one revealed two weeks ago, taking skin cells from the tails of mice with sickle cell anemia and using them to produce iPS cells. The researchers then replaced the mutated gene with a healthy gene in the new cells. Once the iPS cells had differentiated into hematopoietic stem cells, they were reintroduced into the mice, where they began to produce healthy blood cells.

Some 10 percent of the human population, mostly blacks, carry the mutation for sickle cell anemia. The exact mutation is well known, as is the protocol for differentiating embryonic stem cells into precursors of bone marrow adult stem cells, making the condition well-suited to study.

In sickle cell anemia, red blood cells become sickle-shaped and can't move easily through the blood vessels.

Although exciting, the process is still fraught with potential danger.

The procedure to turn skin cells into iPS cells could lead to cancer (although none of the mice in this study showed any evidence of tumors). Also, the healthy genes were introduced into the mice via retroviruses, which can introduce other problems.

"Now the major question in the field is can you make iPSs with a safer method, that don't use retroviruses, because viruses can integrate into the DNA and activate dangerous genes or silence necessary genes," Hanna explained.

"I like the fact that they're saying this is a first step, because they're using retroviruses, and they have to show that this is a safe approach," added Sanberg.

More information

Learn more about stem cells at the International Society for Stem Cell Research.



SOURCES: Jacob Hanna, M.D., Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, Whitehead Institute, Boston; Paul Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., distinguished professor, neurosurgery, and director, University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair, Tampa; Dec. 6, 2007, Science Express online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Tumors use enzyme to recruit regulatory T-cells and suppress immune response
2. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
3. Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart
4. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
5. Circulating fats kill transplanted pancreas cells, study shows
6. Experimental anti-cancer drug made from corn lillies kills brain tumor stem cells
7. Melanoma drug revs immune cells but cancer cells ignore it
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Embryonic stem cells used to grow cartilage
10. Molecular probe paints cancer cells in living animals, Stanford researchers find
11. USC researcher identifies stem cells in tendons that regenerate tissue in animal model
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Kind of Stem Cells Reverse Sickle Cell Anemia
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect ... videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired ... Time). As previously announced on May 31, ... merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Consumers have taken a more ... placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved beyond just ... companies are focusing on becoming more patient-oriented across ... and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard ... MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and ... the five finalists of Lyme Innovation , ... than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: