Image via Wikipedia
The walls of the blood vessels could be the natural location of ‘multipotent mesenchymal’ stem cells (cells that are able to regenerate various tissues of human organs). This was discovered in an international study published in Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the Milan General Hospital Foundation, led by Lorenza Lazzari. The discovery, explained the experts, “could represent a true turning point for stem cell research.” It would give a precise location for mesenchymal stem cells, which until now has been unknown, and it would also demonstrate that multipotent stem cells do not belong to
Research has indicated that certain sarcomas come from the mesenchymal stem cells. However, expression of neural stem cells has been noted in others. Identifying and isolating mesenchymal stem cells and neural stem cells relies on finding specific proteins expressed by both types.
In this study, eight different markers representing proteins associated with these two types of stem cells were applied to the 81 tumors. Through cluster analysis, the researchers organized the data into groups showing similar patterns. Two major subgroups of pediatric sarcomas emerged
What are mesenchymal stem cells? where are they found in the human body? What are their most promising clinical applications? Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic of Columbia University gives us an answer to these questions and and an outlook on the future of mesenchymal stem cells.
Sarcomas are cancers of connective tissues, such as bone, adipose and cartilage, and are thought to arise from the aberrant development of the mesenchyme. As such, mesenchymal stem cells are thought to be the cell of origin for sarcomas. Genetic or epigenetic lesions at particular points during the differentiation of a mesenchymal stem cell into its terminal mesenchymal cell type are able to give rise to specific subtypes of sarcomas.
Recently, a number of reports have identified elevated expression of the human Piwi homolog–called Hiwi–in a variety of human cancers, including gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, gliomas and, most relevant for
tem cell scientists scored what at first appeared an easy win for regenerative medicine when they discovered mesenchymal stem cells several decades ago. These cells, found in bone marrow, can give rise to fat, bone, and muscle tissue, and have been used in hundreds of clinical trials for tissue repair. Unfortunately, the results of these trials have been underwhelming. One problem is that these stem cells don’t stick around in the body long enough to benefit patients.
But Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital aren’t ready to give up. A research team led by Juan Melero-Martin