Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_94801

Mini human stomach grown from stem cells for first time

3 November 2014
Appeared in BioNews 778

Scientists in the USA have for the first time created three-dimensional stomach tissue from human pluripotent stem cells.

Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center grew three-millimetre 'gastric organoids' from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and iPS cells  in order to study the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, a major cause of peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.

'Until this study, no one had generated gastric cells from human pluripotent stem cells,' principal investigator Dr James Wells of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said. 'In addition, we discovered how to promote formation of three-dimensional gastric tissue with complex architecture and cellular composition.'

The study is thought to be the first time researchers have produced a three-dimensional human embryonic foregut, which may provide the starting point for generating other organ tissues like the lungs and pancreas. The creation of stomach tissue from human cells also provides a laboratory model to simulate human biology that avoids the need to use mice, whose stomach biology and structure differs from humans.

In order to create the 'mini stomachs', the researchers needed to be able to direct the stem cells to develop into complex tissue: the stomach is made up of layers of muscle and stomach lining cells, as well as cells that make glands to produce the proteins and acids needed to digest food.

During the cell differentiation process, the scientists introduced chemicals at certain intervals (identified after observing normal stomach formation in embryos) in order to coax the stem cells into creating three-dimensional stomach tissue on which they tested the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

'We were able to show that when we inject the bacteria or a little solution of Helicobacter into our little football-shaped mini-stomachs, the bacteria immediately know what to do and they behaved as if they were in the stomach,' Dr Wells told NBC News.

'They bound to the lining and they triggered the early stages of stomach disease. The cells, in response to the infection, started to replicate themselves.'

Gastric diseases, mostly caused by Helicobacter pylori infections, affect around 10 percent of the world's population. The researchers hope to understand why the bacteria, which are carried by two-thirds of the population, cause disease in some and not others, as well as gaining further understanding about how the stomach develops.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Mini-Stomachs Let Scientists Study Ulcers in a Lab Dish
NBC News |  29 October 2014
Modelling human development and disease in pluripotent stem-cell-derived gastric organoids
Nature |  29 October 2014
Scientists generate first human stomach tissue in lab with stem cells
EurekAlert! (press release) |  29 October 2014
Scientists grow miniature human stomachs from stem cells
The Guardian |  29 October 2014
Scientists grow ‘miniature stomachs’ from stem cells, which could patch up ulcers one day
Washington Post |  29 October 2014
Tiny human stomachs grown in the lab
Nature |  29 October 2014
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
18 July 2016 - by Arit Udoh 
A group of international scientists have announced plans to work collaboratively on a research project that aims to develop human cancer models that would better mimic the disease...
22 February 2016 - by Dr Lanay Griessner 
Miniature brains made out of clusters of human cells could revolutionise high-throughput drug screening, said scientists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, DC, earlier this month...
9 November 2015 - by Jessica Richardson 
Scientists have reported on a method that allows successful 3D bioprinting of adult stem cells...
12 October 2015 - by Rhys Baker 
Australian scientists have successfully grown 'mini kidneys' from stem cells derived from skin tissue...
24 August 2015 - by Dr Julia Hill 
For the first time, an almost fully formed human brain has been grown in the lab, according to scientists from Ohio State University...
27 October 2014 - by Siobhan Chan 
A section of functioning human intestine has been transplanted into mice, giving scientists a new model with which to study intestinal diseases...
13 October 2014 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
Millions of insulin-producing beta cells have been manufactured in the laboratory using human stem cells by scientists at Harvard University...
14 October 2013 - by Dr Greg Ball 
Large-scale production of liver and pancreas cells is becoming a possibility, as scientists have developed a cell culture method allowing stem cells to grow in the laboratory...
8 July 2013 - by James Brooks 
Stem cells generated from adult cells have been used to grow tiny 'liver buds' which were then successfully transplanted into mice...
HAVE YOUR SAY
Log in to add a Comment.

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


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.