Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


 


 

Discarded fallopian tubes provide stem cells for research

22 June 2009

By Heidi Colleran

Appeared in BioNews 513

A research team in Brazil has shown that cells from post-operatively discarded fallopian tubes can be used for stem cell research. The team, based at the University of Sao Paolo, showed that fallopian tubes discarded after hysterectomies contain 'mesenchymal' stem cells that are 'pluripotent'; they are capable of developing into multiple tissue types. The finding, reported in the journal of Translational Medicine, offers the prospect of new source of stem cells for research.

Previous studies have shown that mesenchymal cells harvested from umbilical tissue, menstrual blood, tooth pulp and fat tissue - all of which are biological 'discards' - can develop, or differentiate, into muscle, bone, fat and cartilage. The team in Brazil examined cells from six discarded fallopian tubes from fertile women aged between 35 and 53, who had not undergone any hormonal treatments at least three months prior to surgery. They found high levels of protein markers considered to indicate mesenchymal stem cells. In addition, they found that the cells were easily separated from the tubes, grew well in the laboratory, and differentiated without any signs of chromosomal abnormality through successive generations.

Human fallopian tube mesenchymal cells may therefore provide a cell population that can be 'rapidly expanded for potential clinical applications', according to Dr Mayana Zatz, a member of the research team in Brazil. They also represent an alternative source of stem cells for scientists working in countries that prevent or limit the use of human embryonic stem cells (ES cells) in research.

Though it will be some time before scientists know if these cells can be used for the treatment of diseases, the finding has been hailed as a boon to stem cell research by those with ethical objections to the use of human ES cells in research. Josephine Quintavalle, of Comment on Reproductive Ethics said that 'obtaining multi-potent stem cells from discarded fallopian tubes is yet another example of the extraordinary potential of human waste tissue'.

SOURCES & REFERENCES

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Andy Greenfield

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Henry Malter

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross

Sandy Starr


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation