One in 10 adults in the U.S. — more than 20 million people — are suffering from some degree of chronic kidney disease. Kidney transplants offer a hope for cure, but thousands of patients die each year due to a shortage of donor organs. Even patients who are lucky enough to receive transplants run the risk of their immune systems rejecting the donor kidneys, and they have to take immunosuppressive drugs with serious side effects for the rest of their lives.
Vito Campese, professor and chair of the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s nephrology division, underscores the need to
The brave new world of stem cell research dangles the exciting potential for a host of leading-edge treatments that may one day help cure debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other maladies that today cannot be treated with modern medicine.
However, not much thought has been given to how those products might be regulated and how issues of legal liability may be addressed in a way that encourages scientific innovation but also protects the patients for whom these treatments might provide great relief.
Now, an attorney and law professor from the UCLA School of Law and a member of the
UCLA researchers have discovered a type of cell that is the “missing link” between bone marrow stem cells and all the cells of the human immune system, a finding that will lead to a greater understanding of how a healthy immune system is produced and how disease can lead to poor immune function.
The research was done using human bone marrow, which contains all the stem cells that produce blood during post-natal life.
“We felt it was especially important to do these studies using human bone marrow, as most research into the development of the immune system has used
UCLA stem cell researchers have shown that insulin and nutrition prevent blood stem cells from differentiating into mature blood cells in Drosophila, the common fruit fly, a finding that has implications for studying inflammatory response and blood development in response to dietary changes in humans.
Keeping blood stem cells, or progenitor cells, from differentiating into blood cells is important as blood stem cells are needed to create the blood supply for the adult fruit fly.
The study found that the blood stem cells are receiving systemic signals from insulin and nutritional factors, in this case essential amino acids, that helped them
UCLA stem-cell researchers have identified a certain type of cell and a signaling pathway in the placental niche that play a key role in stopping blood stem cells from differentiating into mature blood cells in the placenta. Preventing this premature differentiation is critical to ensuring a proper blood supply for an individual’s lifetime.
The placental niche is considered a stem cell “safe zone” which supports the creation and expansion of blood stem cells without promoting their differentiation into mature cells. This allows for the establishment of a pool of precursor cells that will later provide blood cells for fetal and