Navigation Links
New technique invented to reveal pancreatic stem cells
Date:4/6/2009

Wanted: stems cells. Just like those absconders chased by police all over the world, everybody can tell about their good deeds but none really knows how to recognize them. Yet, as of today, thanks to a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Accademy of Sciences (PNAS) and authored by Nobel Laureate for Medicine in 2007 Mario Capecchi and by the researcher from the Catholic University of Rome Eugenio Sangiorgi, we now know how to reveal the stem cells camouflaged in the pancreas.

A stem cell is a cell capable of generating all the other cells constituting the same tissue (sometimes also called "adult stem cell").

"Reading the newspapers sometimes one would doubt it says Sangiorgi but we don't know many things about stem cells. It might look odd, but for instance we don't have a method to distinguish a priori between a stem cell and any other cell in the same tissue. We can only infer that a cell really is a stem cell by observing its behaviour".

In other words, when a researcher encounters a tissue, it's not immediately possible to identify with certainty and thus isolate a stem cell. In some case, like in the meadows, we now know where they are located and how to single them out and hence we have been capable of successful life saving transplants for many years. But in the case of the pancreas, as in that of many other tissues, until some years ago we doubted that these special cells were even present there.

"Together with Professor Capecchi, we had already designed in the past a novel way to mark the stem cells in a tissue: a sort of little flag, capable of helping us to effectively label the cells we were looking for", explains Sangiorgi. In order to achieve this, Capecchi and Sangiorgi used a molecular switch, that is a piece of DNA, which activates itself once the mouse under scrutiny takes a special drug. When the switch is "on", a special fluorescent protein is produced (and, as a matter of fact, the study about this type of proteins won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last October). The luminous cells are indeed the long-sought stem cells.

"In order to understand that these are really stem cells, we need only to wait", comments Sangiorgi. "A normal cell is sooner or later destined to die. A stem cell, instead, retains its capacity to renew itself and replicate. Thus, if we can still observe, many months later, that a cell is still alive, that means it is indeed a stem cell or a cell derived directly from the division of a stem cell".

In the newly published article, Sangiorgi and Capecchi have shown with their technique that a particular subset of the pancreatic cells, the so-called acinar cells, are indeed stem cells. The truly interesting aspect of their results is that these cells also produce important digestive enzymes.

"So far, a stem cell was really looked upon as a sort of General, in charge of all the other cells, but really doing nothing: an undifferentiated cell, but with no specific task other than generating new tissue. Acinar cells, on the other hand, despite being proved stem cells, have a well defined task in the pancreas. They are like soldiers doing their job, but also capable when necessary of taking over the reins of the government", tells Sangiorgi with a metaphor.

The work of Capecchi and Sangiorgi paves the way to an extension of the definition of the stem cell, which will lead to a more detailed study on the proliferation mechanisms at the root of the success of these cells and of their potential danger.

"Thanks to their extraordinary reproductive power Sangiorgi, in fact, explains these cells might even turn out to be carcinogenic. But if we are capable of constructing an effective instrument like ours in order to isolate and study them even in other organs, we can study their properties and give many answers about the way they work. One of the things we would like to understand is if also in vivo these types of cells somehow eternal are more tumour-sensitive for instance because they tend to accumulate all the potential environmental risk factors throughout their very long life".

Eugenio Sangiorgi has been collaborating with Mario Capecchi for many years: "I already admired him a great deal before he won the Nobel Prize", he says. "The nicest thing about him is that even at 72 he keeps working in active research and continues being as enthusiastic as a child, always full of new ideas".


'/>"/>

Contact: Eugenio Sangiorgi
eugenio.sangiorgi@rm.unicatt.it
Catholic University of Rome
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. SingaporeMedicine Highlights Singapore's Advanced Pain Management Techniques
2. Plastic Surgeon Allan Parungao, MD, FACS, Announces Clinical Trial of Juvderm Technique to Treat Root Cause of Midface Sagging, without Surgery
3. The Release Technique, a Solution to Helping Veterans Suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
4. Exercise Physiologist and Celebrity Trainer Bob Greene Leads National Campaign to Showcase Osteoarthritis Pain Management Techniques and New Treatment Approaches
5. Technique Might Prevent Some Bladder Removals
6. New staging technique might save bladders in some bladder cancer patients
7. Hebrew University scientist develop technique for eliminating reblockage of arteries
8. Adena Shoulder Surgeon Blends Innovative Techniques with Personalized Patient Care
9. Technique may help stem cells generate solid organs, Stanford study shows
10. Optical techniques show continued promise in detecting pancreatic cancer
11. Studies evaluate the anatomy and stability of ACL reconstruction with different techniques
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 25, 2017 , ... FCPX LUT Vintage Volume 2 for ... look. FCPX LUT Vintage Volume 2 contains 60 different color-grade presets, giving editors multiple ... vignettes and blurs to single out subjects, plus much more. FCPX LUT Vintage Volume ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... , ... June 25, 2017 , ... With a heatwave currently bearing down on Northern ... out at the pool. Being swimsuit ready is easy with laser hair removal. , ... again can be a burdensome routine when all you want to do is get out, ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... , ... June 24, 2017 , ... The weather is ... time outdoors. Home and business owners should be aware that the summer months provide ... In fact, mechanical locks and keys can be negatively affected from direct exposure to ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... (BCRA), their proposed healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ... bill would make significant cuts to Medicaid, a public health insurance program for ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Everybody has their own personal preference when it ... it, and some people don't like it at all. FindaTopDoc took a look at ... Erotic literature can give readers a taste of their deepest, darkest fantasies and has ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/13/2017)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has notified the Company ... its Zhejiang, China manufacturing facility has ... successful clearance of the Warning Letter related to our ... measure of the progress we have made in our ongoing ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 9, ... living with diabetes. In a further effort to help ... affected by this condition, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) ... ) have come together for the second phase of ... Systems programme (BRIDGES 2), reaffirming their commitment to helping ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... -- Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: NVAX ) today announced that ... its RSV F protein recombinant nanoparticle vaccine candidate (RSV F ... in the journal Vaccine (the data ... conferences). The Company previously announced top line results ... RSV F Vaccine with the goal of protecting infants from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: