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Stem Cell Research

Skin Cells Reprogrammed To Perform Like Stem Cells

8 years, 10 months ago

1559  0
Posted on Mar 29, 2010, 6 a.m.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine (US) researchers reprogram skin cells found in human amniotic fluid to pluripotency.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York, USA) scientists have reprogrammed skin cells found in human amniotic fluid to become pluripotent, bearing characteristics similar to human embryonic stem cells that can develop into almost any type of cell in the human body.  Explaining that amniotic fluid skin cells can be safely obtained from pregnant women at 15 weeks of pregnancy and that 99% of cells found in amniotic fluid are terminally differentiated cells mostly from fetal skin, which are shed into the amniotic fluid as a fetus develops, the team successfully induced amniotic fluid skin cells to return from their final differentiated stage back to an undifferentiated stem cell stage, effectively reprogramming them to pluripotency. The scientists were able to genetically reprogram the amniotic fluid skin cells using the four transcription factors (proteins that regulate the transcription of genes) OCT3/4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC. After reprogramming, the cells were found to be identical to human embryonic stem cells in numerous ways, including for morphological and growth characteristics, antigenic stem cell markers, stem cell gene expression, and telomerase activity, in vitro and in vivo differentiation.   The researchers conclude that: “The ability to efficiently and rapidly reprogram terminally differentiated [amniotic fluid (AF)] skin cells and generate induced pluripotent stem cells provides an abundant iPS cell source for various basic studies and a potential for future patient-specific personalized therapies.”

Elisa Galende, Ioannis Karakikes, Lisa Edelmann, Robert J. Desnick, Thomas Kerenyi, Georges Khoueiry, James Lafferty, Joseph T. McGinn, Michael Brodman, Valentin Fuster, Roger J. Hajjar, Katalin Polgar. “Amniotic Fluid Cells Are More Efficiently Reprogrammed to Pluripotency Than Adult Cells.”  Cellular Reprogramming, December 2009.

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