Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


The Fertility Show


 

Stem cell setback: Reprogrammed stem cells may induce immune response

23 May 2011

By Dr Rebecca Robey

Appeared in BioNews 608

IPS cells from mice can be recognised by their own immune system and destroyed, even if they are genetically identical to the recipient of the cells, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have found. Scientists had believed iPS cells wouldn't be identified as foreign and destroyed by the body, as happens with transplants using cells or organs from a different donor.

In this new study, led by Professor Yang Xu, researchers created iPS cells from mouse skin cells and transplanted them into genetically identical mice, a process similar to performing a transplant between identical twins.

The cells were attacked by the immune systems of the recipient mice and destroyed. This was in contrast to transplants using genetically identical embryonic stem cells (ES cells), which were not destroyed by the recipients' immune systems.

Professor Nissim Benvenisty, a stem-cell biologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem told Nature: 'We expected that iPS cells generated from patients would be able to be transplanted back into patients. This paper indicates that that may not be the case'.

But these findings do not mean that iPS cells could never be used in medicine. Professor Xu's team found using different methods to generate iPS cells altered the strength of the immune reaction against them. This appeared to be due to different levels of, gene expression by the  iPS cells.

Professor Xu told Nature: 'We propose that the technology to generate iPS cells needs to be improved in order to minimize the difference between iPS cells and ES cells, so that iPS cells can be more useful in human therapies'.

An editorial in the New Scientist called for the news to serve as a message to 'keep stem cell options open'. The study authors argue that the new findings demonstrate research on ES cells is still necessary, despite their ethically-sensitive nature, because they cannot yet be replaced entirely by research on iPS cells.

 

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Nature | 13 May 2011
 
New Scientist | 18 May 2011
 
Nature | 13 May 2011
 
New Scientist | 18 May 2011
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

12 September 2011 - by Daniel Malynn 
Presenter Liz Bonnin investigates stem cells, and their pioneering use in organ donation. Bonnin's introduction the segment covers briefly, but accurately, the 30 years worth of history of stem cell research, and the controversy around embryonic stem cell research...
11 July 2011 - by Dr Rebecca Robey 
Surgeons have successfully transplanted a synthetic organ into a human for the first time. In a groundbreaking operation, a cancer patient's windpipe was replaced with an artificial replica that had been grown using his own stem cells....

07 February 2011 - by Leo Perfect 
Adult human cells maintain a 'memory' when reprogrammed into a stem cell-like state, US scientists have found. The finding suggests the resulting induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are not yet a viable alternative to human embryonic stem (ES) cells for modelling or treating disease...
17 January 2011 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
An international team of researchers have found that both embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) show higher genetic abnormalities than other cells....
02 August 2010 - by Dr Rachael Panizzo 
Stem cells created from a patients' own tissue are subtly different from those derived from embryos in ways that may affect their therapeutic potential, two independent research groups have found. Both studies found induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) retain an 'epigenetic memory' of their tissue of origin...
22 February 2010 - by Dr Sophie Pryor 
A new study has cast doubt over how useful human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells could be for research and the treatment of degenerative disease...
15 February 2010 - by Nisha Satkunarajah 
A Californian biotechnology company has obtained the first US patent for developing a method to create stem cells from adult cells....

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

Moving the Boundaries of Human Reproduction

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 Jacques Cohen

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Andy Greenfield

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

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