Saturday, 26 January 2013

Study shows that autologous iPSCs pose no rejection threat

A team of researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine recently published a study which showcased in an animal model that somatic cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells were not rejected after being transplanted into recipients that had the same genetic imprint. In other words, the study strongly suggests that transplantation of tissues derived from autologous induced pluripotent stem cells carries very little risk of rejection.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are derived from somatic cells (e.g. skin and blood cells) and theoretically shouldn't be rejected when transplanted back to the original donor, since they share the same DNA. However a 2011 study published in Nature showed that iPSCs were rejected when transplanted back to the orinating donor.

The BUSM study comes as a respond to the 2011 Nature study. Neil Rordigues, one of the study's authors says:

"The Nature study provocatively suggested that tissues derived from patient-specific iPS cells may be immunogenic after transplantation. However, it never directly assessed the immunogenicity of the therapeutically relevant cell types that could be utilised in regenerative medicine and transplantation" 

In their experiments, the scientists first took adult somatic cells from a mouse model and derived incuded pluripotent stem cells from them. They then differentiated the iPSCs into cells of the three germ layers, mesoderm, ectoderm and endoderm. Specifically they differentiated the iPSCs into:
  • Neurons 
  • Hepatocytes (liver cells) 
  • Endothelial cells (cells found in interior surface of blood vessels) 
The cells were then transplanted back to the original donors, with no signs of rejection appearing. The study also revealed that even direct transplation of undifferentiated iPSCs causes little, if any, rejection response

Guha P, Morgan JW, Mostoslavsky G, Rodrigues NP, & Boyd AS (2013). Lack of Immune Response to Differentiated Cells Derived from Syngeneic Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Cell stem cell PMID: 23352605

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