About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New Treatments Against Degenerative Disease may be Derived by Reprogramming Patient's Eye Cells

by Rajshri on October 24, 2009 at 7:59 PM
Font : A-A+

 New Treatments Against Degenerative Disease may be Derived by Reprogramming Patient's Eye Cells

A key barrier to the clinical use of stem cells has been overcome by scientists who have used a technique which transforms regular body cells into artificial stem cells without the need for introducing foreign genetic materials.

The research, published in Stem Cells, suggests that cells taken from a patient's eye can be "reprogrammed" to replace or restore cells lost to degenerative diseases.

Advertisement

The research, led by Professor Iqbal Ahmad and co-authors from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is the first proof in principle that somatic, or body cells, can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) simply through the influence of the microenvironment in which the sampled cells are cultured. Until now genetic materials were introduced into somatic cells to re-programme them to become pluripotent, enabling them to generate cells of all three embryonic lineages.

"Our findings provide evidence for an emerging view that somatic cells may be reprogrammed safely and simply by defined chemicals and other factors, which may facilitate their clinical use," said Ahmad. "The next step is to know how robust the reprogramming is and what existed within the microenvironment to cause it."
Advertisement

The team sampled progenitor eye cells, which regenerate the eye's cornea, from laboratory rats. By reprogramming them to resemble stem cells they acquired the properties necessary to replace or restore neurons, cardiomyocytes, and hepatocytes, cell types which are degenerated in Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and liver disease.

This reprogramming technique may allow 'autologous cell transplantation', where the donor of the cells is also the recipient. This is preferable to using cells from another person which may cause the patient's immune system to reject the transplanted cells.

Also, because this technique involves the use of iPSCs derived from adult eye cells and not embryonic stem cells (ES) it side steps many of the ethical dilemmas which have embroiled stem cell research.

"This research shows that it is possible to take cells from a patient's eye without affecting vision and reprogram them for use in autologous cell therapy to replace or rescue degenerating cells," concluded Ahmad, "this would allow us to circumvent ethical issues and the problems caused by the immune system rejecting foreign cells."



Source: Eurekalert
RAS
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Organ Donation Week 2022 - 'Take the Pledge to Save Lives'
Test your Knowledge on Heart Transplantation
Test Your Knowledge on Lung Transplantation
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Eye Vision LASIK Surgery Facts Allergy Eye Drops Routine Eye Examination Quiz On Eye Donation Floppy Iris Syndrome Eyelid Bump 

Most Popular on Medindia

Iron Intake Calculator Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Find a Doctor Drug Side Effects Calculator Accident and Trauma Care Drug - Food Interactions Hearing Loss Calculator Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Diaphragmatic Hernia Noscaphene (Noscapine)
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use