AsianScientist (Dec. 6, 2016) – Researchers in Singapore have artificially generated new mouse blood and immune cells by reprogramming skin cells. Their work was published in Nature Communications.
One of the major challenges of regenerative medicine is to manufacture new blood and immune cells for patients in need. While there were previous efforts to generate new mouse blood cells from skin cells, the blood cells could last only two weeks once injected back into mice. In contrast, the artificial, skin-derived blood cells in this study can last for multiple months in mice.
In this study, researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology identified a cocktail of four factors that can convert mouse skin cells into different types of blood cells. By introducing the four factors that are normally active in blood cells into skin cells, they artificially ‘rewrote’ skin cells to adopt features of blood cells.
“On the face of it, skin cells and blood cells couldn’t be more different from one another. We have been interested in whether it might be possible to rewrite the identity of cells, specifically to turn skin into blood,” said the study’s first author Dr. Cheng Hui.
The article can be found at: Cheng et al. (2016) Reprogramming Mouse Fibroblasts into Engraftable Myeloerythroid and Lymphoid Progenitors.
Source: A*STAR; Photo: Shutterstock.
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