UCLA investigators have developed a method to generate human embryonic stem cell-like cells from human skin fibroblasts. These so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have tremendous potential to create custom-made human embryonic stem cells to treat individuals with degenerative diseases.
The use of stem cells to treat a variety of degenerative diseases has been a promising area of research and treatment. However, the therapeutic use of stem cells depends on the availability of pluripotent cells that are not limited by technical, ethical, or immunological considerations. There have been research groups, including one at UCLA, that generated mouse iPS cells from fibroblast and demonstrated that these cells are functionally and molecularly virtually identical to embryonic stem cells. However, there is a need to generate human embryonic stem cells with human fibroblasts.
UCLA researchers have developed a method to generate human iPS cells from human dermal fibroblasts. Researchers were able to reprogram human somatic cells by overexpressing transcription factors in human skin fibroblasts to induce pluripotency. These cells can, just like ES cells, be differentiated into cells of all three germ layers. The method can also be used to create custom-made human embryonic stem cells from any person. For people with degenerative diseases, human iPS cells can be generated and differentiated, and then transplanted back in the same person to avoid immunological rejection. Researchers have generated multiple human induced pluripotent stem cell lines that can be used to study their differentiation potential.
Investigators have successfully demonstrated the ability to generate human embryonic stem cell-like cells (iPS cells) from dermal fibroblasts. They are still testing the concept of generating custom-made human embryonic stem cells to treat degenerative diseases and avoid immunological rejection through transplantation.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||9,005,966||04/14/2015||2008-246|
research tool, therapeutic, human embryonic stem cells, pluripotent, fibroblasts, dermal, transcription, degenerative diseases, overexpression