About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Stem-cell-based Strategy Boosts Immune System in Mice: Researchers

by Rukmani Krishna on May 18, 2013 at 11:42 PM
 Stem-cell-based Strategy Boosts Immune System in Mice: Researchers

UC San Francisco researchers have created the first functioning human thymus tissue from embryonic stem cells in the laboratory raising hopes for cell-based therapies. The researchers showed that, in mice, the tissue can be used to foster the development of white blood cells the body needs to mount healthy immune responses and to prevent harmful autoimmune reactions.

The scientists who developed the thymus cells which caused the proliferation and maturation of functioning immune cells when transplanted said the achievement marks a significant step toward potential new treatments based on stem-cell and organ transplantation, as well as new therapies for type-1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases, and for immunodeficiency diseases.

Advertisement

Starting with human embryonic stem cells, UCSF researchers led by Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, an immunologist, and Matthias Hebrok, PhD, a stem-cell researcher and the director of the UCSF Diabetes Center, used a unique combination of growth factors to shape the developmental trajectory of the cells, and eventually hit upon a formula that yielded functional thymus tissue.

The result, reported in the May 16, 2013 online edition of the journal Cell Stem Cell, is functioning tissue that nurtures the growth and development of the white blood cells known as T cells. T cells are a central immune cell population that responds to specific disease pathogens and also prevents the immune system from attacking the body's own tissues.
Advertisement

The thymus might be a bit obscure to the layperson it's a small gland at the top of the chest beneath the breastbone but it is in no way expendable, as individuals with defective thymus function succumb to infection early in life.

Given the invasive nature of cell therapy, which remains completely experimental, the first treatments using laboratory-derived thymus tissue would likely be studied in patients with fatal diseases for which there are no effective treatments, Anderson said. For example, one early treatment might be for the genetic disease DeGeorge syndrome, in which some newborns are born without a thymus gland and die in infancy.

Source: Eurekalert
Font : A-A+

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended Readings

Latest Genetics & Stem Cells News

Is Stem Cell Therapy Safe for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Treatment?
Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis has been successfully treated using autologous hematopoietic stem cell therapy.
Genetic Insights Into Androgenetic Alopecia
Innovative discoveries in male hair loss research uncover uncommon genetic variants tied to it.
Uncovering Genetic Harmony for Safer Hearts
Researchers achieved a significant milestone in uncovering the genetic basis of dilated cardiomyopathy in Dobermanns.
Gene Therapy Breaks Up New Dawn for Beta Thalassemia
Groundbreaking gene therapy for genetic beta thalassemia is now accessible as a treatment to a patient post-FDA approval.
Scientists Uncover Stem Cells in the Thymus for the First Time
Thymic stem cells actively participate in their environment by generating extracellular matrix proteins, essentially forming their own support system.
View All
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  Ok, Got it. Close
MediBotMediBot
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot
×

Stem-cell-based Strategy Boosts Immune System in Mice: Researchers Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests