New Method Increases Supply of Embryonic Stem Cells
Monday, 27 January 2014
|Single cell removal from an embryo.|
Currently human embryonic stem cells are made from surplus in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos that are not used for the generation of pregnancies. The embryos do not survive the procedure. Therefore it has been illegal in the USA to use this method for deriving embryonic stem cell lines. Sweden's legislation has been more permissive. It has been possible to generate embryonic stem cells from excess, early IVF embryos with the permission of the persons donating their eggs and sperm.
|Prof. Karl Tryggvason, KI.|
"We know that an embryo can survive the removal of a single cell. This makes a great ethical difference," says Karl Tryggvason.
The single stem cell is then cultivated on a bed of a human laminin protein known as LN-521 that is normally associated with pluripotent stem cells in the embryo. This allows the stem cell to duplicate and multiply without being contaminated. Previously the cultivation of stem cells has been done on proteins from animals or on human cells, which have contaminated the stem cells through uninhibited production of thousands of proteins.
"We can cultivate the stem cells in a chemically defined, clinical quality environment. This means that one can produce stem cells on a large scale, with the precision required for pharmaceutical production," says Karl Tryggvason.
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent and can develop into any kind of cell. This means that they can become dopamine producing cells, insulin producing cells, heart muscle cells or eye cells, to name but a few of the hopes placed on cell therapy using stem cells.
"Using this technology the supply of human embryonic stem cells is no longer a problem. It will be possible to establish a bank where stem cells can be matched by tissue type, which is important for avoiding transplants being rejected," says Karl Tryggvason.
Source: Karolinska Institute
Contact: Press Office
Clonal culturing of human embryonic stem cells on laminin-521/E-cadherin matrix in defined and xeno-free environment
Sergey Rodin, Liselotte Antonsson, Colin Niaudet, Oscar E. Simonson, Elina Salmela, Emil M. Hansson, Anna Domogatskaya, Zhijie Xiao, Pauliina Damdimopoulou, Mona Sheikhi, José Inzunza, Ann-Sofie Nilsson, Duncan Baker, Raoul Kuiper, Yi Sun, Elisabeth Blennow, Magnus Nordenskjöld, Karl-Henrik Grinnemo, Juha Kere, Christer Betsholtz, Outi Hovatta and Karl Tryggvason.
Nature Communications, January 27, 2014, doi: 10.1038/ncomms4195
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