Friday, 21 December 2018 14:17

Heidelberg: New stem cell type developed from blood cells Featured

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) and the HI-STEM stem cell institute in Heidelberg have generated a new type of stem cell. From human blood cells, they produced neural stem cells similar to those found in the early embryonic development of the central nervous system.

The scientists have described them as induced Neural Plate Border Stem Cells (iNBSCs), the first structure of the nervous system that appears during embryonic development. They have broad development potential. The iNBSCs are multipotent and, according to the developers, can develop into neurones or glial cells. Then the stage corresponds to that of an embryo on the 8th day of development, as the researcher derived from a comparison with developmental stages of mice. The stem cells can also develop into cells of the neural crest, which in turn produce different cell types, such as peripheral sensitive nerve cells or cartilage and bone of the skull.

Since the cells bear the genetic type, e.g. of patients suffering from a certain neurological disease, it could be used for the development of disease models. Conversely, the iNBSCs can be genetically modified via CRISP/Cas9 in order to repair or produce genetic defects if necessary.

Original paper:
Marc Christian Thier, Oliver Hommerding, Jasper Panten, Roberta Pinna, Diego García-González, Thomas Berger, Philipp Wörsdörfer, Yassen Assenov, Roberta Scognamiglio, Adriana Przybylla, Paul Kaschutnig, Lisa Becker, Michael D. Milsom, Anna Jauch, Jochen Utikal, Carl Herrmann, Hannah Monyer, Frank Edenhofer und Andreas Trumpp (2018). Identification of Embryonic Neural Plate Border Stem Cells and Their Generation by Direct Reprogramming from Adult Human Blood Cells. Cell Stem Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.11.015.

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