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Stem cells in urine easy to isolate and have potential for numerous therapies
Date:7/30/2013

s when implanted in the body, indicating they may be safe for use in patients.

The research involved obtaining urine samples from 17 healthy individuals ranging in age from five to 75 years. Isolating the cells from urine involves minimal processing, according to the authors. Next, they evaluated the cells' ability to become multiple cell types.

Importantly, the cells differentiated into the three tissue layers (endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm) that are a hallmark of true stem cells and also differentiated into the specific cell types mentioned earlier.

Next, the researchers placed cells that had been differentiated into smooth muscle and urothelial cells onto scaffolds made of pig intestine. When implanted in mice for one month, the cells formed multi-layer, tissue-like structures.

The urine-derived stem cells have markers of mesenchymal cells, which are adult stem cells from connective tissue such as bone marrow. They also have markers for pericytes, a subset of mesenchymal cells found in small blood vessels.

Where do the cells come from? Researchers suspect that the cells originate from the upper urinary tract, including the kidney. Female study participants who had received kidney transplants from male donors were found to have the y chromosome in their urine-derived stem cells, suggesting the kidney as the source of the cells.

"Identifying the origins of the cells will lead to a better understanding of the biology of this multipotent population of mesenchymal cells within the urinary tract system," said Zhang.


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Contact: Karen Richardson
krchrdsn@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4453
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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