BUSM study shows potential of differentiated iPS cells in cell therapy without immune rejection

January 25, 2013

(Boston) - A new study from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) shows that tissues derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in an experimental model were not rejected when transplanted back into genetically identical recipients. The study, published online in Cell Stem Cell, demonstrates the potential of utilizing iPS cells to develop cell types that could offer treatment for a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, liver and lung diseases, without the barrier of immune rejection.

Ashleigh Boyd, DPhil, and Neil Rodrigues, DPhil, the study's senior authors, are assistant professors of dermatology at BUSM and researchers at the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) at Boston University and Boston Medical Center (BMC). They also are lead investigators at the National Institutes of Health's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) at Roger Williams Medical Center, a clinical and research affiliate of BUSM.

iPS cells can be developed from adult cell types, such as skin or blood, by returning them to a stem cell state using genetic manipulation. iPS cells are capable of maturing (differentiating) into all the specific cell types in the body, making them a powerful tool for biological research and a source of tissues for transplantation based therapies. Given that iPS cells can be made in a patient-specific manner, there should be great potential for them to be transplanted back into the same patient without rejection. Yet a study published in Nature in 2011 demonstrated that iPS cells transplanted in the stem cell state were rejected in genetically identical recipients.

"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 utilized in regenerative medicine and transplantation," said Rodrigues.

The BUSM researchers evaluated this matter by taking adult cells from an experimental model and deriving iPS cells from them. They then differentiated the iPS cells into three cell types: neuronal (nerve); hepatocytes (liver); and endothelial (blood vessel lining) cells. These three cell types represent each of the three germ layers present during embryonic development - mesoderm, ectoderm and endoderm. Cells from these layers differentiate and ultimately develop into the body's tissue and organ systems. Using experiments to mirror the potential clinical use of patient-specific iPS cells in cell therapy, the team transplanted each of the differentiated cells into a genetically identical experimental model and found no signs of an elevated immune response or indications of rejection.

The study results suggest that using patient-specific iPS cells should overcome issues of immune rejection in transplantation, which will be a significant problem for potential embryonic stem cell-derived therapies. Immune rejection in transplantation is treated clinically by immunosuppressive drugs but they can have serious side-effects, including the risk of developing cancer.

"If the use of immunosuppressive drugs can be avoided, as may be the case for patient-specific iPS cell based therapies, it would be preferable. Our results are very promising and future work should be directed at assessing whether tissues derived from human iPS cells will similarly lack immunogenicity," said Boyd.
-end-
Research reported in this release was supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number # P20RR018757. The IDeA program builds research capacities in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical and translational research; faculty development; and infrastructure improvements.

Boston University Medical Center

Related Regenerative Medicine Articles from Brightsurf:

Stem cells: new insights for future regenerative medicine approaches
The study published in Open Biology unravels important data for a better understanding of the process of division in stem cells and for the development of safer ways to use them in medicine.

Engineered developmental signals could illuminate regenerative medicine
For a tiny embryo to develop into an adult organism, its cells must develop in precise patterns and interact with their neighbors in carefully orchestrated ways.

A new discovery in regenerative medicine
An international collaboration involving Monash University and Duke-NUS researchers have made an unexpected world-first stem cell discovery that may lead to new treatments for placenta complications during pregnancy.

New research into stem cell mutations could improve regenerative medicine
Research from the University of Sheffield has given new insight into the cause of mutations in pluripotent stem cells and potential ways of stopping these mutations from occurring.

Keratin scaffolds could advance regenerative medicine and tissue engineering for humans
Researchers at Mossakowski Medical Research Center of the Polish Academy of Science have developed a simple method for preparing 3D keratin scaffold models which can be used to study the regeneration of tissue.

NUS Medicine researchers can reprogramme cells to original state for regenerative medicine
Scientists from NUS Medicine have found a way to induce totipotency in embryonic cells that have already matured into pluripotency.

A new material for regenerative medicine capable to control cell immune response
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Montana (USA) proposed a new promising material for regenerative medicine for recovery of damaged tissues and blood vessels.

Optoceutics: A new technique using light for regenerative medicine
Researchers in Italy at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia used visible light together with photo-sensitive and biocompatible materials to facilitate the formation of new blood vessels in vitro.

Major stem cell discovery to boost research into development and regenerative medicine
A new approach has enabled researchers to create Expanded Potential Stem Cells (EPSCs) of both pig and human cells.

Spinning-prism microscope helps gather stem cells for regenerative medicine
Pluripotent stem cells are crucial to regenerative medicine, but better screening methods are needed to isolate safe and effective cells for medical use.

Read More: Regenerative Medicine News and Regenerative Medicine Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.