Reprogrammed cells generate blood vessels

Researchers at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have used vascular precursor cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to generate, in an animal model, functional blood vessels that lasted as long as nine months. In their report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition , the investigators describe using iPSCs — reprogrammed adult cells that have many of the characteristics of embryonic stem cells — both from healthy adults and from individuals with type 1 diabetes to generate blood vessels on the outer surface of the brain or under the skin of mice. “The discovery of ways to bring mature cells back to a ‘stemlike’ state that can differentiate into many different types of tissue has brought enormous potential to the field of cell-based regenerative medicine, but the challenge of deriving functional cells from these iPSCs still remains,” says Rakesh Jain , Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology) at Harvard Medical School (HMS), director of the Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at MGH, and co-senior author of the study. “Our team has developed an efficient method to generate vascular precursor cells from human iPSCs and used them to create networks of engineered blood vessels in living mice.” The ability to regenerate or repair blood vessels could make a crucial difference in the treatment of cardiovascular disease — which continues to be the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. — and other conditions resulting from blood vessel damage, such as the vascular complications of diabetes. In addition, providing a vascular supply to newly generated tissue remains one of the greatest barriers facing efforts to build solid organs through tissue engineering. - http://news.harvard.eduSource: SAM Daily Times

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