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Newly discovered esophagus stem cells grow into transplantable tissue, Penn study finds
Date:12/15/2008

ensional culture apparatus. "These tissue culture cells formed a mature epithelium sitting on top of the matrix," says Rustgi. "The whole construct is a form of tissue engineering."

The investigators then tested their pieces of esophageal lining in whole animals. When the tissue-engineered patches were transplanted under the skin of immunodeficient mice, the cells formed epithelial structures. Additionally, in a mouse model of injury of the esophagus in a normal mouse, which mimics what happens during acid reflux, green-stained stem cells migrated to the injured lining cells and co-labeled with the repaired cells, indicating involvement of the stem cells in tissue repair and regeneration.

Eventually the researchers will develop genetically engineered mouse models to be able to track molecular markers of esophageal stem cells found in a micorarray study. The group has already developed a library of human esophageal cell lines and is looking for human versions of markers already identified in mice.

"The ultimate goal is to identify esophageal stem cells in a patient, grow the patient's own stem cells, and inject them locally to replace diseased tissue with normal lining," says Rustgi.


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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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