Large Quantity Of Laboratory Stem Cells Produced From Small Number Of Blood Stem Cells

Large Quantity Of Laboratory Stem Cells Produced From Small Number Of Blood Stem Cells
A team from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), University of Montreal has managed to produce a large quantity of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow.

The multidisciplinary team headed by Dr.Guy Sauvageau did so a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment using stem cells. This world premiere will advance research on stem cells and could have important implications in several areas for which there is currently no treatment.

Each year in North America, nearly four thousand people waiting in vain for a bone marrow transplant due to lack of compatible donor. We know that stem cell transplantation of bone marrow can be used to reconstitute the bone marrow recipient. The main difficulty is to obtain a sufficient number of stem cells compatible. Thanks to Dr. Sauvageau and his team a few years, these patients may get a new bone marrow.

"This could include grafting all adults from the existing banks of umbilical cord blood, including stem cell content is currently limiting the widespread use in adults," says Dr. Sauvageau.

Organ transplants without side effects: the medicine of the future?
Currently, transplant recipients are condemned to take medication against rejection of the transplanted organ to suffer side effects throughout their lives. However,

"There are studies in mice showing that stem cells from bone marrow can prevent rejection typically directed against solid organs," says Dr. Sauvageau.

Rejection occurs because the immune cells, produced by the bone marrow, attack the transplanted organ as if it were an invader. By extrapolation from laboratory studies, it is likely that grafting of hematopoietic stem cells taken from the donor organ and developed in the laboratory would prevent rejection of organ. Hence the importance of having large amounts of hematopoietic stem cells thereby is able to combine stem cells compatible with the organ transplant.

Proteins multiplying stem cells
To produce large quantities of hematopoietic stem cells in the laboratory, the team of Dr. Sauvageau has identified ten proteins from seven hundred candidates. These ten proteins are naturally present within the hematopoietic stem cells. And researchers can use each to force these cells to multiply in the laboratory.

"The next step is to verify if this also works in humans. And everything is already in place “Guy Sauvageau resumed.

These tests will be conducted at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont in Montreal, one of the leading centres in the country where stem cells transplants are performed.

"If one of the ten proteins can increase hematopoietic stem cells in humans, then we can obtain the quantities of cells needed to perform transplants. And then it will be "mission accomplished.”

Many researchers around the world are now trying to harness the regenerative power of other types of stem cells to treat diseases like Alzheimer's or diabetes. The research team IRIC could also help them reach their goal.

The work of the team of Dr. Sauvageau has been funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research of Canada and the results are published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell dated April 17. (Reference below)
Article: A Functional Screen to Identify Novel Effectors of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Activity
Journal Publication: Cell


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