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Therapeutic Cloning Works in Mice With Parkinson's
Date:3/24/2008

of its own nucleus. This egg cell is then stimulated to grow and divide into an increasing number of cells that are all an identical genetic match to those of the original host.

At that point, the two procedures part company. On the one hand, reproductive cloning continues the cell division process to the birth of a whole new organism possessing the exact same DNA as the host. In the absence of any human reproductive cloning to date, the 1996 birth of Dolly the sheep -- the first animal ever to be cloned -- is perhaps the most famous example of this process.

Therapeutic cloning is limited to the generation of a very early-stage embryo comprised of a small collection of undifferentiated stem cells. These malleable cells are then stimulated to develop into specified cells that could be reintroduced into the body of the original host to treat any number of diseases. Such an approach circumvents a patient's natural immune response.

Tabar and her Sloan-Kettering colleague Lorenz Studer joined researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, to test the viability of therapeutic cloning in mice that had been induced to develop Parkinson's.

The research team extracted cells from the tail tips of each of 24 young mice and therapeutically cloned 187 distinct stem cell lines --including at least one DNA-specific line per mouse.

After inducing the stem cells to develop into dopamine neurons, each Parkinson's mouse was "treated" with the insertion of only those neurons derived from its own cells.

Subsequent behavioral tests revealed that this one-to-one therapeutic cloning technique significantly improved the neurological function of the mice without any adverse immune response. The observed improvement was found to be much better than that achieved by a group of control mice that were given dopamine cells cloned from a single mouse line, as in prior studies.

Compared with the one-to-
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Therapeutic Cloning Works in Mice With Parkinson's
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