March 27, 2006
Pluripotent Stem Cells Found In Mouse And Human Testicles

First off, a German group has isolated stem cells from mice testes that appear to be as flexible as embryonic stem cells.

The researchers, from the Georg August University in Gottingen, isolated sperm-producing cells from the testes of adult mice.

They were able to show that, under certain culture conditions, some of them grew into colonies much like embryonic stem cells.

They called these cells multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs).

Like ES cells, maGSCs can spontaneously differentiate into the three basic tissue layers of the embryo - and contribute to the development of multiple organs when injected into embryos.

I wonder how old the mice were. Would such results be achievable from old mice?

Also, adult stem cell lines tend to grow more slowly (even orders of magnitude more slowly) Than embryonic stem cell lines. So how fast do these msGSC lines replicate? Can they grow fast enough to be used to grow replacement organs for example?

One observer says more work needs to be done to confirm the result.

Gerd Hasenfuss from the Georg-August-University of Göttingen and colleagues report the results in Nature1. Their work shows the extraction of the cells from male mice, but it should be possible to produce similar results with samples taken from human testicles through a biopsy, says Wolfgang Engel, a human geneticist also at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen and a co-author on the paper.

The cells have been shown to have some of the same characteristics as embryonic stem cells, but not all, notes Chris Higgins, director of the Medical Research Council's Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London, UK. "There needs to be further research before we really get excited about it."

The researchers are currently trying to reproduce this result using humans.

The discovery that cells which behave like ESCs can now be obtained from adult mice may now open up the possibility of a similar “ethical? source from grown men.

“We’re in the process of doing this in humans, and we’re optimistic,? says Gerd Hasenfuss of the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany, and head of the team which pioneered the breakthrough.

Here is a report I really hope holds up. PrimeGen Biotech of Irvine California claims they've already produced pluripotent stem cells from human adult testes.

-- PrimeCell(TM) -- First Human Adult Stem Cell Showing Ability to Differentiate into Any Cell in the Body -- Paves Way for Cellular Replacement Therapies to Cure a Multitude of Diseases

-- Does Not Require Generation or Destruction of an Embryo

In a breakthrough for stem cell research and cellular replacement therapies, PrimeGen Biotech LLC ( today announced that its researchers have successfully developed the first human adult therapeutic germ stem cell. Derived from adult stem cells but with the advantageous genetic characteristics of embryonic stem cells, PrimeCells have successfully been transformed into human heart, brain, bone and cartilage cells -- cardio, neuro, osteo and chondrocytes.

Therapeutically reprogrammed from germ line stem cells found in the testes of adult human males, PrimeCell(TM) is the first non-embryonic stem cell showing the potential to become any type of cell from any organ, something previously thought possible only for embryonic stem cells -- the definition of true pluripotency.

This week, the company's researchers are scheduled to present a summary of their complete data and manuscript in a poster presentation at the Serono Symposia International's Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cells In Reproductive Medicine conference in Valencia, Spain. PrimeGen first presented its preliminary human experimental data at the 1st International Symposium on Germ Cells, Epigenetics, Reprogramming and Embryonic Stem Cells, held in November 2005 in Kyoto, Japan.

Scientists will find ways around the use of embryonic stem cells and will develop other means to make highly flexible cells. The restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research are going to seem like a speed bump 5 or 10 years from now. I'm not saying that to attack or defend those restrictions. I just think the restrictions aren't going away but they can be worked around. People who fight for lifting those restrictions ought to fight for a lot more research funding to find ways around the restrictions.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 March 27 07:35 AM  Biotech Stem Cells

Sergey said at March 30, 2006 5:50 AM:

This information was predicted by my work - Ierarchical organization of complex organisms . Where was done plus other things - Cancer Genesis


Bob Badour said at March 30, 2006 2:23 PM:

It's too bad Sergey didn't provide any links to his work or an email address and didn't elaborate more.

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