Tag archives: Stem Cells

Growing Human Liver Tissue from iPS Cells

by David Prentice

July 5, 2013

Co-Author: Andrew Mullins

Japanese scientists have succeeded in growing chunks of functional human liver tissue in mice. The research, published in the journal Nature, constructed the human liver tissue using a combination of three cell types: induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), human umbilical cord blood stem cells, and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. The liver cells were induced to form from the iPS cells, while the other cells were used to form support tissue including cells for blood vessels. In the laboratory, the cells organized themselves into pieces of tissue, termed “liver buds”. When transplanted into mice, the “liver buds” showed some specific liver function, and also hooked into the circulatory system, allowing the liver tissue to survive and continue growing. The functional human liver tissue was also able to rescue mice from liver failure.

It’s still early in the study and development of iPS cell-derived tissues and organs, and the mice will be observed for some time to come to observe whether iPS cells, since they behave like embryonic stem cells, create tumors in the animals. Still, it’s a significant step forward for potential use of iPS tissues in laboratory studies, and a novel way to produce organ rudiments.

Back in 2006, McGuckin’s lab showed that they could grow pieces of liver tissue in the laboratory, starting with human umbilical cord blood stem cells. The adult stem cells found in umbilical cord blood, as well as the solid umbilical cord, appear to be very flexible in their potential use for various tissues.

In 2010, Wake Forest scientists showed that they could construct miniature human livers in the laboratory using adult precursor cells. That research technique differs from the new report for iPS cell-derived liver. The Wake Forest group started by stripping the cells off of normal liver tissue, forming “decellularized scaffolds” to which cells normally attach in an organ and which give an organ structure. The decellularized scaffold consist of extracellular matrix, including the proteins and other biomolecules on which cells hang in an organ and which can affect cell differentiation within that tissue. That matrix was then seeded with human liver precursor cells and human endothelial cells (which line and help create blood vessels.) The remade liver construct was grown in a bioreactor in the lab, and after a week demonstrated human liver tissue growth and function.

Another route to liver regeneration involves injecting adult stem cells into damaged liver tissue, stimulating regrowth of liver tissue. The technique has been used in limited clinical trials but has shown some success for adult stem cell regeneration of liver in patients.

Both techniques were recently reviewed by the Wake Forest group, as well as in-depth description of the decellularization method for liver construction. Non-embryonic stem cells continue to lead the way in the lab, as well as in the clinic.

Vigil for Nascent Life: Saturday, Nov. 27th, 2010

by Family Research Council

November 23, 2010

This coming Saturday, November 27th, Christians around the world are invited to pray and fast for the most vulnerable and unprotected members of our culture, the unborn. The sad truth is that for many developing babies, a mother’s womb has become a dangerous place where life is destroyed through the violence of abortion rather than a haven where fragile life is protected, nurtured and loved. After giving thanks for our many blessings this Thanksgiving Thursday, please consider making your Saturday a day of prayer for this intention. Below are a few suggestions for the Vigil for Nascent Life:

Pray for the Defense of the Defenseless From the womb to the tomb (Prov. 24:11-12). Some suggestions include doing a short Bible study with your family about the value of God-given human life; taking some quiet time with God in a chapel or outdoors in His creation; joining together with your congregation for a specific prayer service for the protection of the unborn.

Fast for the Protection of the Unborn If you are able, please fast from one meal or the whole day, or fast from media (TV, internet, phone, radio). Fasting frees our minds of distractions and is a powerful prayer tool to keep us focused.

Stay Informed about Threats to the God-Given Right to Life Sign up for the Washington Update at www.frc.org.

Take Action Make an impact…for Life!

1. Support a Pregnancy Care Center in your area. To find out more about these life-affirming ministries to women who are expecting a child, check out FRCs site: www.apassiontoserve.org.

2. Promote Foster Care and Adoption in your church. Check out www.icareaboutorphans.org, a ministry of Focus on the Family. Other ministries can be found at www.realcompassion.org.

3. Advocate for ethical stem cell research. Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) not only destroys human life, but it also wastes taxpayer dollars because the result is tumors, but no treatments. Adult Stem Cells offer an ethical and effective alternative. Life-affirming therapies using adult stem cells have already resulted in 73 different treatments in human patients. Visit FRCs dedicated site: www.stemcellresearchfacts.org, for some exciting video stories from real people who have benefited from ethical stem cell research.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

November 30, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest for your post-Thanksgiving enjoyment.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

November 10, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 28, 2009

Here’s some articles that might be of interest.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 22, 2009

News fans unite. I am back with another segment of In the Know…. Here’s today’s articles of the day.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 14, 2009

Here’s some interesting articles for your reading enjoyment this morning.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

September 28, 2009

Here are some articles of interest.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

September 24, 2009

Here’s something for your news cravings today.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

September 2, 2009

Gone are the days of the Daily Buzz and Blogosphere Buzz. Instead, I decided to incorporate the two to create “In the Know.” Don’t worry, you will still receive your daily dose of news.

Here’s some articles of interest for your morning: