Cells Found in Adult
Males Have Same Properties As Embryonic Stem Cells - Sperm
Producing Cells From Testicles Work The Same -Researchers From Germany
Researchers in Germany believe they have isolated stem cells from the
testicles of adult mice that appear similar to embryonic stem (ES)
cells. The researchers hope that they can isolate similar cells in male
adults that can be used in place of embryonic stem cells. If these stem
cells can be used in place of human embryonic stem cells, it would
remove a stumbling block for research into such diseases as Parkinson’s
Stem cells are the body’s building blocks, and embryonic stem cells are
the most useful because they have the ability to become any type of cell
within the human body. The researchers believe they could provide an
alternative source of stem cells for growing genetically matched cells.
This would likely be more acceptable than using embryos.
Gerd Hasenfuss and colleagues from the Georg August University of
Göttingen are responsible for this research. They said “This would
avoid the technical and ethical difficulties associated with generating
cells from human embryos."
Previous research has indicated that certain cells in the testicles of
newborn mice were able to generate into numerous tissue types. This is
the first time that researchers have isolated such cells in adults.
These cells are “sperm-producing” cells, and the team calls them
multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs). Like ES cells, these
maGSC cells can spontaneously differentiate into the three basic tissue
layers of the embryo.
It is hoped these cells can substitute for ES uses. The research is
published in the journal Nature.
By Dan Wilson
Books on Genetics
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