A new discovery in pluripotent stem cells and induced regenerative medicine

In vitro culture of induced trophoblast stem cells (pink) wrap clumps of naïve induced pluripotent stem cells (cyan). Credit: Xiaodong Liu, Jia Tan and Monica Mohenska

Researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School and Monash University have discovered an unexpected world-first stem cell in an international collaboration that could lead to new treatments for placental complications during pregnancy.

While it is widely known that adult skin cells can be redistributed into cells similar to human embryonic stem cells, which can then be used to grow tissue from human organs – called induced pluripotent stem cells ( Known as IPSC) – the same process cannot make placenta tissue.

IPSCs opened up potential for personalized cell therapy and new opportunities for regenerative medicine, safe drug testing and toxicity assessments, although very few knew how they were created.

An international team led by ARC Future Fellow Professor Jose Polo from Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute and ARC Future Medicine Institute teamed with Assistant Professor Owen Rackham from Duke-NUS in Singapore to investigate the molecular changes of adult skin cells, Became IPSS. . It was during the study of this process that he discovered a new way to create induced trophoblast stem cells (iCSs) that could be used to make placenta cells.

This exciting discovery, which also includes the expertise of three first authors, Drs. Xiaodong Liu, Drs. John Ouyang and Drs. Fernando Rossello will enable further research for new treatments for complications of the placenta and measurement of drug toxicity in placenta cells, implications during pregnancy.

“This is really important because iPSCs cannot give rise to the placenta, thus all advances in disease modeling and cell therapy that IPSCs have not translated to the placenta,” said Prof. Polo.

“When I started my PhD five years ago, our goal was to understand the nuts and bolts of how IPSCs are made. However, at the same time, we also explored how iCSs are made,” Dr. Liu said.

“This discovery will provide the ability to model the human placenta in vitro and enable a pathway for future cell therapies,” Dr. Ouyang said.

“This study shows that by successfully combining both state-of-the-art experimental and computational tools, basic science leads to unexpected discoveries that can be transformational,” said Assist Pro Rackham.

Professors Polo and Rackham said many other groups from Australian and international universities contributed to the study over the years, making it a truly successful endeavor.

Scientists convert skin cells into placenta-generating cells (update)

more information:
The reprogramming roadmap reveals the pathway for human-induced trophoblast stem cells. Nature (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-020-2734-6, www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2734-6

Provided by Duke-NUS Medical School

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