Researchers have developed a new line of genetically modified pigs that do not reject transplants, an advance that allows for future research on stem cell therapies.
One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts.
This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process.
Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection.
“The rejection of transplants and grafts
When a muscle is damaged, dormant adult stem cells called satellite cells are signaled to “wake up” and contribute to repairing the muscle. University of Missouri researchers recently found how even distant satellite cells could help with the repair, and are now learning how the stem cells travel within the tissue. This knowledge could ultimately help doctors more effectively treat muscle disorders such as muscular dystrophy, in which the muscle is easily damaged and the patient’s satellite cells have lost the ability to repair.
“When your muscles are injured, they send out a ‘mayday’ for satellite cells to come and
Image by thomtrance via Flickr
An experiment successfully performed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Missouri in Colombia, described in Nature magazine shows that cells removed from a patient’s skin and transformed into cells similar to embryonic stem cells have become a laboratory model for diseases and can be observed in real time and studied to find new cures. The researchers recreated spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) pluripotent stem cells removed from the skin of a child affected by the neurodegenerative genetic disease. In the laboratory, the cells behaved exactly as they do in