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Pluripotent stem cells take over from blood stem cells for future transplant therapies

Pluripotent stem cells take over from blood stem cells for future transplant therapies
Cell morphology picture day 6 produced by the combination of Runx1, Hoxa9 and Hoxa10 transcription factors at different stages of ES directed differentiation. Credit: Dr. Jinyong Wang

Cells in the blood such as immune cells, red blood cells and other vital cell types are constantly renewed from stem cells, the so-called hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Certain diseases of the blood system, such as genetic diseases or leukemias, can be effectively treated by stem cell transplants, but suitable, genetically matched donors are not always available.

An alternative to obtaining cells from matched donors is their generation from pluripotent (PSCs) which can be obtained from early embryos or, more relevant for a clinical setting, from a patient's own skin cells through a process called reprogramming. Although in theory, PSCs can generate any type of cell, their conversion to functioning, stable HSPCs in the lab has proven difficult.

New research published in Stem Cell Reports from Jinyong Wang and colleagues with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Guangzhou Medical University has now optimized a combination of proteins, so-called transcription factors, which when introduced in mouse PSCs convert them to HSPCs in the dish.

When transplanted into mice with impaired HSPCs, the PSC-derived cells generated all types of white blood cells over a period of six months. Importantly, the transplanted HSPCs did not give rise to tumors or leukemias in the receiving mice.

This proof-of-principle data suggests that PSCs can serve as a limitless source of transplantable HSPCs but future work is required to obtain HSPCs that maintain high levels of blood cell production over extended periods of time and, of course, to see whether this process would work in humans.

More information: Huan Peng et al, Prolonged generation of multi-lineage blood cells in wild-type animals from pluripotent stem cells, Stem Cell Reports (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2023.01.009

Journal information: Stem Cell Reports

Provided by International Society for Stem Cell Research

Citation: Pluripotent stem cells take over from blood stem cells for future transplant therapies (2023, February 17) retrieved 20 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-02-pluripotent-stem-cells-blood-future.html
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