An international collaboration involving researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School and Monash University has made an unexpected world first stem cell discovery that could lead to new treatments for maternal complications during pregnancy.
While it is common knowledge that adult skin cells can be reprogrammed into cells similar to human embryonic stem cells, which can then be used to develop tissues from human organs ̵
iPSCs opened up the potential for personalized cell therapies and new possibilities for regenerative medicine, safe drug testing, and toxicity assessments, but little is known about how they were made.
An international team led by ARC Future Fellow Professor Jose Polo of Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Australian Research Medicine Institute together with Assistant Professor Owen Rackham of Duke-NUS in Singapore investigated the molecular changes that adult skin cells went through to become iPSCs. . . It was during the study of this process that they discovered a new way to create induced trophoblast stem cells (iTSCs) that can be used to make placenta cells.
This exciting discovery, which also involves the expertise of the first three authors, Dr. Xiaodong Liu, Dr. John Ouyang and Dr. Fernando Rossello, will enable further research into new treatments for maternal complications and the measurement of drug toxicity to placental cells, which have implications during pregnancy.
“This is really important because iPSCs cannot give rise to placenta, and therefore not all the advances in disease modeling and cell therapy that iPSCs have brought about are translated into the placenta,” Prof Polo said.
“When I started my PhD five years ago, our goal was to understand the nuts and bolts of how iPSCs are made. But along the way, we also discovered how to make iTSCs,” said Dr. Liu.
“This discovery will provide the capacity to model human placenta in vitro and enable a pathway for future cell therapies,” said Dr. Ouyang.
“This study demonstrates how basic science leads to unexpected discoveries that can be transformative, by combining both advanced experimental and computational tools,” said Asst Prof Rackham.
Professors Polo and Rackham said many other groups from Australian and international universities contributed to the study over the years, making it a truly international effort.
Researchers Convert Skin Cells to Placenta-Generating Cells (Update)
Roadmap reprogramming reveals route to human-induced trophoblast stem cells. Nature (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-020-2734-6, www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2734-6
Provided by Duke-NUS Medical School
Citation: A new discovery in pluripotent stem cells and induced regenerative medicine (2020, 16 September) retrieved 17 September 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-09-discovery-pluripotent-stem-cells-regenerative.html
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