Thymus cells successfully transformed into skin cellsAugust 19th, 2010 - 2:22 pm ICT by ANI
London, Aug 19 (ANI): Swiss researchers have successfully transformed cells taken from the thymus into skin cells - a discovery that may have important ramifications for the field of organ regeneration.
The findings show that these stem cells change their genetic make-up according to their environment to contribute to the long-term functioning of the skin, even producing hair for up to a year after implantation.
In collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, UK, the Swiss research team with European colleagues isolated thymic epithelial cells (TECs)-taken from the thymus of a rat-and integrated them into the rat’s skin cells with surprising results.
These epithelial cells taken from the thymus, an organ found in the thoracic cage, switch over from what they were originally created by the body to do and take up a novel role according to their new environment.
“These cells really change track, expressing different genes and becoming more important,” Nature quoted Professor Yann Barrandon, head of the Laboratory Stem Cell Dynamics, as saying.
While in the thymus, these cells teach T-cells to recognize and destroy bacteria and cancer cells-a key component to the immune system.
The results show that these cells have the ability to express genetic markers unlike its original make-up when placed in different microenviroments.
Until now, experiments using hair follicle stem cells to maintain hair and skin growth have met with limited results.
The thymic stem cells have proven effective for up to a year after implantation-a major improvement over the three-week performance of bona fide hair follicle stem cells.
“This operation could have theoretically been reproduced with other organs,” added Barrandon.
Not only could these findings create new opportunities in the field of organ transplantation and regeneration, for severe burn victims for example, but they also call into question standard biological models by showing that it is possible to create tissues from cells with different embryonic origins.
The study has been published in Nature. (ANI)
- Hope for baldness cure - Apr 30, 2012
- A cure for baldness 'could be available in 5 years' - Dec 16, 2010
- Even a minor cut 'can trigger tumour' - Feb 15, 2011
- Male pattern balding 'due to stem cell inactivation' - Jan 05, 2011
- A stem cell cure for bald pates - Dec 20, 2010
- Coming soon: Cloned hair follicles to cure baldness! - May 01, 2011
- Engineered stem cells may improve cardiac function after heart attack - Jul 21, 2010
- Stem cells from skin, blood regenerate faltering liver - May 12, 2011
- New findings could lead to improved treatment of spinal cord injuries - Nov 16, 2010
- Synthetic protein to help regenerate new tissues - Sep 11, 2011
- Scientists focus on human cells for spinal cord injury repair - Mar 03, 2011
- New research offers hope to Parkinson's disease patients - Feb 09, 2011
- Scientists identify and isolate adult mammary stem cells in mice - Aug 31, 2010
- New study paves for novel treatments for regenerating liver, bone marrow - Nov 13, 2010
- Genetic switch that controls tissue regeneration found - Feb 04, 2011
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,