Method for manufacturing patient-specific human platelets

Nov 22, 2010

Skin cells from humans can be revamped into pro-clotting cells called platelets, according to a study published on November 22 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Patients with diseases causing thrombocytopenia—platelet deficiency—often require repeated transfusions with platelets obtained from healthy donors.

But donor platelet isolation is expensive and labor intensive, and donor platelets can be attacked by the patient's immune systems as "foreign." Therefore, Koji Eto and colleagues sought a method for generating custom-made platelets from patients' own cells.

The team first reprogrammed human skin cells to a more primitive, stem cell–like state; these cells were then cultured in a cocktail of platelet-promoting soluble factors. The resulting platelets circulated and accumulated in blood clots when injected into platelet-deficient mice, behaving just like normal platelets.

Although additional work is needed to ensure that the culture-derived platelets function like normal healthy platelets, these findings represent an important step toward making patient-specific clinically available.

Explore further: People use handshakes to sniff each other out

More information: Takayama, N., et al. 2010. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20100844

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

People use handshakes to sniff each other out

56 minutes ago

Limp or firm, your handshake conveys subliminal social cues. Now, research reveals it also transmits chemical signals that could explain why the greeting evolved in the first place.

Owls and lizards lend their ears for human hearing research

12 hours ago

Lizards and owls are some of the animal species that can help us to better understand hearing loss in humans, according to new research out of York University's Department of Physics & Astronomy in the Faculty of Science.

Team finds key to tuberculosis resistance

17 hours ago

The cascade of events leading to bacterial infection and the immune response is mostly understood. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the immune response to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis ...

Mutation may cause early loss of sperm supply

18 hours ago

Brown University biologists have determined how the loss of a gene in male mice results in the premature exhaustion of their fertility. Their fundamental new insights into the complex process of sperm generation ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.