iPS cells production method is improving With the development by Takahaski and Yamanaka of a method for producing embryonic-like stem cells from adult somatic cells, so called iPS cells (Cell 131; 861-872, 2007), a wide and promising avenue was opened for their use in reparatory and regenerative medicine. However, the cells generated have different types of abnormalities that hinder their clinical use, possibly due to the method used for dedifferentiation of the adult cell.
The new method
Now, in an intriguing article in Nature (510; 533-536,2014), an attractive method has been developed in an attempt to eliminate abnormalities in the reprogrammed cells. It essentially consists of injecting the nucleus of the somatic cell to be reprogrammed into an oocyte, so that its cytoplasmic components stimulate the dedifferentiation process. Technically, the main contribution of Dieter Egli’s group is to add kinase inhibitors to the oocyte activation process, and histone deacetylase inhibitors to the cell culture medium. Using this modification, they obtained embryonic-like stem cells from the somatic cells of a newborn and, for the first time, from an adult, a woman with type 1 diabetes. This is a huge step towards the possible use of pluripotent cells in clinical medicine.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.