Researchers from Human Genome Research Centre at the University of Sao Paulo have identified discarded human fallopian tubes as a rich source of stem cells for regenerative medicine.
It has previously been shown that mesenchymal stem cells obtained from umbilical cords, dental pulp and adipose tissue, which are all biological discards, are able to differentiate into muscle, fat, bone and cartilage cell lineages.
During the study, lead researcher Tatiana Jazedje set out to isolate and assess the differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells from discarded human fallopian tubes.
The fallopian tubes were obtained from hysterectomy and other gynecological procedures from fertile women between 35-53 years who had not undergone hormonal treatment for at least three months prior to surgery.
The Brazilian team found that human fallopian tube are abundant in mesenchymal stem cells which have the potential of becoming a variety of cell types.
The cells' chromosome complement showed no abnormalities, suggesting chromosomal stability.
"In addition to providing an additional potential source for regenerative medicine, these findings might contribute to reproductive science as a whole," said Jazedje.
"Moreover, the use of human tissue fragments that are usually discarded in surgical procedures does not pose ethical problems," Jazedje added.
The study appears in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Translational Medicine.