New Thyroid Therapies by Stem Cells

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A recent report published in the medical journal Stem Cell Reports, sheds light on breakthrough research regarding the use of thyroid cells derived from stem cells for new therapies. Scientists at Boston University’s School Medicine led the work.

They have pinpointed a means of efficiently engineering thyroid cells by way of stem cells that will eventually help analyze and treat thyroid diseases (…)

The breakthrough described above was discovered after studies were performed on mice. Stem cells are valued as they can mature into an array of different cell types.

The researchers referenced above have determined how to transform the genetically modified stem cells from mice into thyroid cells. They determined there is a specific “window” during cell development to perform the transformation in an efficient manner.

The group switched the Nkx2-1 gene off/on while guiding the lab-cultured stem cells through development stages. When the gene was “on”, most stem cells were transformed to thyroid cells in a small period of time (…)

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A new way to generate thyroid cells known as thyrocytes using genetically modified embryonic stem cells was recently discovered by a research team from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).

The findings, which appear in the journal Stem Cell Reports, are the first step to developing a similar protocol using human stem cells that will allow the modeling of thyroid disease to better understand its causes and the development of therapies (…)

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), engineered mouse embryonic stem cells cultured in the lab to express a genetic switch for a specific gene, Nkx2-1, that is important for thyroid development.

Then they guided the embryonic stem cells through various stages while switching Nkx2-1 on and off for short periods of time and found there was one narrow timeframe where turning on this gene converted the majority of cells to thyroid cells (…)

The researchers hope this study will lead to the development of therapeutics or stem cell/genetic engineering technologies that will improve the quality of life for the many people afflicted with thyroid and other disorders (…)

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