Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Cell Therapy a Little More Concrete Thanks to VIB Research

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Cell therapy is a promising alternative to tissue and organ transplantation for diseases that are caused by death or poor functioning of cells.

Considering the ethical discussions surrounding human embryonic stem cells, a lot is expected of the so-called ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’ (iPS cells). However, before this technique can be applied effectively, a lot of research is required into the safety and efficacy of such iPS cells. VIB scientists associated to the UGent have developed a mouse model that can advance this research to the next step.

Lieven Haenebalcke (VIB/UGent): “iPS cells have enormous therapeutic potential, but require more thorough testing before they can be used for such purposes. Using our new mouse model, we can study which mechanisms determine the identity of a cell. This knowledge is essential before we can use cell therapy for regenerative medicine.”

Jody Haigh (VIB/UGent): “If we want to give cell therapy a future, then we must continue this type of research and invest in the further development of such technologies. This will result in an improved insight into cellular identity and – in the long term – safer options of applying iPS cells or cells derived from iPS cells in clinical studies.”

Cell therapy – replacing cells to provide a cure

Cell therapy is the replacement of lost or poorly functioning cells in patients. For example, such cell therapies could be used to repair the heart muscle after a heart attack, joints affected by arthritis, the pancreas in diabetes or the spine in certain forms of paralysis. This requires cells that are able to multiply in the laboratory and that can be converted to healthy cells of the desired cell type. Human embryonic stem cells meet these criteria, but they are ethically controversial.

iPS cells – a promising alternative to embryonic stem cells

Shinya Yamanaka recently developed a fairly simple method to reprogram differentiated cells – such as skin cells – back to stem cells, so-called “induced pluripotent stem cells” (iPS cells). This earned him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2012 (shared with John Gurdon). These iPS cells can be generated using only 4 “reprogramming factors”.

As is the case with embryonic stem cells, these iPS cells can be used to produce other cell types, such as heart muscle cells or nerve cells. They can also be cultured indefinitely and there are no ethical objections as they are not obtained from human embryos left over after IVF, but from adult individuals. Furthermore, iPS cells are obtained from the patient and this reduces the risk of rejection during therapeutic applications.

Essential research possible

Before iPS cells can be used effectively and safely as a therapy, it is essential that we gain clear insight into which molecular mechanisms determine the identity of a cell; why and how a cell develops into – for example – a heart muscle cell, a nerve cell or a blood cell. In order to do so, Lieven Haenebalcke and Jody Haigh have developed a mouse model that will enable them to conduct this research. They succeeded in creating iPS cells from a variety of mouse cells. Furthermore, the new model allows the investigators to replace the 4 reprogramming factors in these iPS cells efficiently with specific genes in order to create targeted different cell types, such as functional heart muscle cells.

Lieven Haenebalcke (VIB/UGent): “It enables us to study in a relatively simple manner the molecules that play a role in the formation and the identity of various cell types. Using this knowledge, we can then manipulate the identity of cells in a more targeted fashion and then conduct pre-clinical tests to determine whether these new cells are suitable, for example to repair heart tissue or blood vessels.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Genetic Variability in Cell Bank Lots
Researchers working with cancer cells from the same cell bank acquired at the same time, found that the cells were genetically different.
Rapidly Generating Bone, Heart Muscle
A new study shows that combining positive and negative signals can quickly and efficiently steer stem cells down complex developmental pathways to become specialized tissues that could be used in the clinic.
New Therapeutic Targets For Small Cell Lung Cancer Identified
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a protein termed ASCL1 that is essential to the development of small cell lung cancer.
New Mechanism of Tuberculosis Infection
Researchers have identified a new infection mechanism of tuberculosis that could lead to a new therapeutic angle.
Modelling ALS Requires ‘Aged’ Stem Cells
Research suggests engineered cells are too ‘young’ to accurately model ALS and should be 'aged' to speed progress toward finding potential treatments.
Protein Reinforces Growth of Damaged Muscles
Biologists have found a protein involved in stem cells that bolsters damaged muscle tissue growth - potential for muscle degeneration treatments.
Treating HIV with Cancer-Fighting Gene Shows Promise
A type of gene immunotherapy that has shown promising results against cancer could also be used against HIV.
'Antigen-Presenting Cell' Defends Against Cancer
Through advanced imaging, researchers have identified cells that encourages increases in immune system cancer defences.
HIV Hides No Longer
Researchers are working to create proteins that clear HIV-infected cells in order to eliminate latent infection and dormancy.
R&D Agreement for Development of CtDNA Diagnostics
SeraCare and NIST partner for development of ctDNA diagnostic assay reference materials.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!