Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have gained new insight into how both early embryonic cells and embryonic stem cells are directed into becoming specialised cell types, like pancreatic and liver cells. The results have just been published in the scientific journal eLife.
This latest research from the Danish Stem Cell Center (Danstem) at the University of Copenhagen, helps identify how stem cells create so called pathways and roads supporting their own specialisation. This understanding is an important step towards stem cell-based cell therapies for conditions like diabetes and liver diseases.
"The new insight that we have gained into the impact of the physical environment on cell development is highly valuable," says Professor Joshua Brickman from DanStem, "It enables us to create the optimal physical environment in the laboratory for stem cells and progenitor cells to develop into specific, mature cells."
On the road
Developing cells constantly move and while moving around, they organise and build a physical environment very much like a small city with pathways and roads. The new research published in the scientific journal eLife shows two important things. Firstly the embryonic cells receive signals from other cells that actually instruct them in how to organise and build the road leading the cells towards early stages of pancreas and liver cells.
Professor Brickman and his team also found that they could isolate these roads from the developing stem cells and literally freeze them. The saved roads were then used in a separate experiment which showed that in the absence of an important cell signal, the road alone can be used to improve the cells' development and differentiation towards mature cells.
"Apart from gaining new important insight into cell development, our work also suggests that some of the current approaches to human embryonic stem cells specialisation towards both pancreatic and liver cells may not have been effective, because the important role of these roads, the so called extra-cellular matrix, was ignored," says Joshua Brickman.
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.00806 Published December 24, 2013 eLife 2013;2:e00806
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Stem Cell Research category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
University of Copenhagen. "Stem cells and specialisation." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 9 Jan. 2014. Web.
8 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270908>
University of Copenhagen. (2014, January 9). "Stem cells and specialisation." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270908.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.