A team of scientists has managed to achieve another breakthrough in the area of stem cell therapies. They were able to create totipotent stem cells in the lab. This is the first time ever to achieve such a feat and follows the creation of pluripotent stem cells.
Scientists Will Try To Develop New Stem Cell Therapies Based On Such Totipotent Cells
This new breakthrough was achieved by an international team of researchers coming from the California Salk Institute and the Chinese Peking University. Study results were published in the Cell journal. They were able to create the totipotent stem cells from both cultured mouse and human such cells.
Totipotent stem cells are known to be able to form tissues capable of providing embryonic support. At the same time, they may also offer extra-embryonic tissues, for example, the amniotic sac and the placenta.
“This is the first study reporting the derivation of a stable stem cell type that shows totipotent-like bi-development potential towards both embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages”.
This is according to Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a Salk Professor, and researcher involved in the study. The team was able to divide the new cells into either totipotent or pluripotent stem ones, while still early on in the development process.
They were able to do so thanks to a new chemical cocktail. This was able to stabilize the cells before the division process and this prolonged their versatility. As such, the researchers dubbed their result EPS cells or “extended pluripotent stem cells”.
Based on the new chemical cocktail, the team was able to create various stem cell therapies. More exactly, they were able to form chimeras or a collection of embryonic cells coming from different zygotes. According to Izpisua Belmonte, the new, totipotent-like stem cells line may have a “broad and resounding impact” in the stem study field.
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