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:3/22/2017)... Bolton, MA San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) , ... ... ... audited and ISO certified medical imaging core lab with extensive therapeutic experience and ... awarded a multi-year phase II immuno-oncology clinical trial for the treatment of non-small ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... protection assistance and financial consultations to families and business owners in the greater ... for the local American Cancer Society Relay For Life event. , Each year, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... insurance consultation, financial planning, and related services to communities across eastern Texas, is ... the goal of providing meals to hungry children and adults. , Consistently ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Schneider Insurance and Financial, ... business owners throughout the Yellowstone Valley region, is launching a charity event aimed at ... botanical garden in all of Montana State, and is home to a broad variety ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... ... Chris Humphrey Insurance Agency, a North Carolina firm offering asset protection services ... is initiating a charity event to raise support for five year old Dillyn, a ... a Friday evening in September 2014. At the time, Dillyn was only four years ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com News ... According to ... was worth an estimated $6.6 billion in 2016, and is projected ... or reaching more than $24 billion by 2025. The medical cannabis ... growing from $4.7 billion in 2016, to an estimated $13.3 billion ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck ... and Canada , today announced two new ... session at the 65 th Annual Pacific Coast Reproductive ... on March 24 th .   The results ... collected from July 2009 to December 2015 containing data from ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... As ... oil continues to rise in popularity with consumers, Cannabis ... enhancing production through acquiring innovative assets and other plant ... include: Future Farm Technologies Inc (OTC: FFRMF) (CSE: FFT.CN), mCig, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: