Disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines from King's College London placed on NIH Registry

Sep 24, 2013
This image shows a hES cell colony immunostained for pluripotency markers nanog (red) and TRA-1-60 (green). Credit: Dusko Ilic, King's College London

Scientists from King's College London have announced that 16 human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines have been approved by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and placed on their Stem Cell Registry, making them freely available for federally-funded research in the USA. The stem cell lines, which carry genes for a variety of hereditary disorders such as Huntington's disease, spinal muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis, are considered to be ideal research tools for designing models to understand disease progression, and ultimately in helping scientists develop new treatments for patients.

King's is now one of the five biggest providers of disease-specific human lines on the NIH Registry, and the largest from the UK. The development is a significant milestone for King's and keeps the university at the forefront of global research into regenerative medicine.

Embryonic stem cell lines are grown from donated by patients undergoing preimplantation (PGD) in conjunction with IVF treatment. Unlike 'adult' stem cells, embryonic stem cells can differentiate into any type of cell within the body and are considered to be more useful for stem cell-based therapies. Disease-specific stem cell lines are created from embryos found to be affected with genetic disorders and therefore not suitable for implantation, but offer huge potential for research into disease development.

King's has already developed eight clinical-grade and more than 30 research-grade stem cell lines, which were approved by the UK Stem Cell Steering Committee to be deposited with the UK Stem Cell Bank (UKSCB) and distributed worldwide.

The sixteen lines of stem cells on the NIH Registry carry genes for various hereditary disorders including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Huntington's Disease, , and rarer conditions such as Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, , myotonic dystrophy and .

'Major contribution to global stem cell research'

Professor Peter Braude, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, King's College London; and former director of the Stem Cell Programme and the Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis Programme, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'We are delighted that the NIH has found our lines useful and their procurement and consents in line with the strict guidelines that they have set. This achievement is the culmination of over ten years of painstaking research and consistent belief in the scientific usefulness of these very special cells to improve our understanding of genetic disease processes.

'This is a huge milestone for King's, and will allow us to make a major contribution to global stem cell research by having these stem cell lines available to scientists in the USA.

'These research-grade stem cell lines are essential not only to address basic questions in development and disease, but to test and implement technical improvements in culture conditions that might affect hES cell viability and pluripotency.'

Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science at King's College London, said: 'I'm delighted that the NIH has accepted our stem cell lines. There are now significant opportunities for US-based researchers to use these lines as tools to test the molecular mechanisms of common diseases, so it's fantastic that they are now freely available to advance the science of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine.'

Explore further: Tracking nanodiamond-tagged stem cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Stem cell research in the UK reaches significant milestone

Dec 06, 2011

Stem cell scientists at King's College London will today announce they have submitted to the UK Stem Cell Bank (UKSCB) their first clinical grade human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines that are free from animal-derived products, ...

Tracking nanodiamond-tagged stem cells

Aug 05, 2013

A method that is used to track the fate of a single stem cell within mouse lung tissue is reported in a study published online this week in Nature Nanotechnology. The method may offer insights into the factors that determ ...

Test to improve stem cell safety

Jun 04, 2013

CSIRO scientists have developed a test to identify unsafe stem cells. It is the first safety test specifically for human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) – as published today in the international journal Stem Cells.

Recommended for you

For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key

10 hours ago

Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on April 17th h ...

Rapid and accurate mRNA detection in plant tissues

11 hours ago

Gene expression is the process whereby the genetic information of DNA is used to manufacture functional products, such as proteins, which have numerous different functions in living organisms. Messenger RNA (mRNA) serves ...

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

Apr 16, 2014

From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interested in how these ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...