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What are the potential uses of human stem cells and the obstacles that must be overcome before these potential uses will be realized? Perhaps the most important potential application of human stem cells is the generation of cells and tissues that could be used for cell-based therapies.
For example, it may become possible to generate healthy heart muscle cells in the laboratory and then transplant those cells into patients with chronic heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure, has ranked as the number one cause of death in the United States every year since 1900 except 1918, when the nation struggled with an influenza epidemic. Cardiovascular disease can deprive heart tissue of oxygen, thereby killing cardiac muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). The use of embryonic and adult-derived stem cells for cardiac repair is an active area of research. A few small studies have also been carried out in humans, usually in patients who are undergoing open-heart surgery. In people who suffer from type 1 diabetes, the cells of the pancreas that normally produce insulin are destroyed by the patient's own immune system.
To realize the promise of novel cell-based therapies for such pervasive and debilitating diseases, scientists must be able to manipulate stem cells so that they possess the necessary characteristics for successful differentiation, transplantation, and engraftment. Also, to avoid the problem of immune rejection, scientists are experimenting with different research strategies to generate tissues that will not be rejected. To summarize, stem cells offer exciting promise for future therapies, but significant technical hurdles remain that will only be overcome through years of intensive research. Page citation: What are the potential uses of human stem cells and the obstacles that must be overcome before these potential uses will be realized? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes nerve cells in the spinal cord to die, eventually taking away a person’s ability to move or even breathe. Results from a meta-analysis of 11 independent amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research studies are giving hope to the ALS community by showing, for the first time, that the fatal disease may be treatable. Researchers say progress in treating ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, may be made by targeting new mechanisms revealed by neural stem cell-based studies. ALS causes nerve cells in the spinal cord to die, eventually taking away a person’s ability to move or even breathe. A summary of the findings from all 11 studies was published online in December in Science Translational Medicine. The transplanted neural stem cells help by producing factors that preserve the health and function of the host’s remaining nerve cells.
Researchers observed improved motor performance and respiratory function in the treated mice. Drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard analysts discuss the unusual dynamics and events of the 2016 presidential election, and what they mean for our political system going forward. A Harvard conference will review how online learning works best, and how to make it better. A new study sheds light on important differences between intentional and unintentional mind wandering. Religion helps make it possible for humans to live in large groups and pack into cities, performing as a social unifier, studies say.
Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Researchers have produced insulin-secreting cells from stem cells derived from the skin of patients with type 1 diabetes. Signaling a potential new approach to treating diabetes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
People with this form of diabetes can't make their own insulin and require regular insulin injections to control their blood sugar. The researchers showed that the new cells could produce insulin when they encountered sugar. Millman, whose laboratory is in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid Research, began his research while working in the laboratory of Douglas A.
Millman said more research is needed to make sure that the beta cells made from patient-derived stem cells don't cause tumors to developa€”a problem that has surfaced in some stem cell researcha€”but there has been no evidence of tumors in the mouse studies, even up to a year after the cells were implanted. He said the stem cell-derived beta cells could be ready for human research in three to five years.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered a new pathway that triggers regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas, a key development that may aid in the development of diabetes treatments.
Long-term use of liraglutide, a substance that helps to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, can have a deteriorating effect on insulin-producing beta cells, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels.
Patients with a rare, genetic form of diabetes often are misdiagnosed as having type 2 diabetes because the two share symptoms. Salk scientists have solved a longstanding problem in the effort to create replacement cells for diabetic patients. Blocking the hormone that raises sugar levels in the blood could increase insulin levels while keeping blood sugar levels down. The significant role of beta cell 'hubs' in the pancreas has been demonstrated for the first time, suggesting that diabetes may due to the failure of a privileged few cells, rather than the behaviour of all cells. People with Diabetes Mellitus can have a syndrome known as a diabetic foot, which is a consequence of the perifrica vascular disease (poor blood circulation in the legs by dao in the blood vessels) . An impeded flow of blood and lowered immunity form the fundamental changes which make diabetics prone to various skin ailments (as compared to non-diabetics). This comprehensive article covers the possible skin conditions that may stem from diabetes so that you are able to spot them at the earliest. Damage to the nerves as a result of diabetes may negatively affect the working of the sweat glands, leading to dry skin, mainly on the lower legs or feet. This problem is fortunately easy to control via daily moisturization of the skin, proper use of sunscreen protection and by drinking adequate amounts of water that allow the skin to stay moist for long. Individuals dealing with diabetes are highly vulnerable to attacks caused by fungal species, especially those initiated by Candida Albicans.


Such infections are found most commonly in moist areas of the body; for example, the small area between toes or fingers, in the vaginal, groin or armpit area.
There are a variety of bacterial infections that can be repeatedly seen in patients with diabetes. Acanthosis nigricans is most frequently associated with insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes), resulting in an escalated amount of insulin in the blood circulation. Mostly, the creases and folds in the body, as seen in the elbows, knees, armpits, under the breast etc, show such changes.
Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum is a rare diabetic complication (affects roughly 0.3% of diabetics) which has a strong predilection for adult women. Pathologic degenerative changes that take place in collagen and fat reserves below the skin result in this inflammatory skin disorder.
Bullosis diabeticorum, also known as diabetic blister is an infrequent skin condition wherein an individual with diabetes may experience blister formation. The good news is that such blisters subside on their own in a matter of few weeks (2-3 weeks). It appears as a yellow coloured, small sized bump (not more than the size of a pea) and is lined by an erythematous halo. In Disseminated Granuloma Annulare, the diabetic sufferer notices formation of distinct elevated areas on the skin, with an arch or ring form. Atherosclerosis refers to arterial thickening that may result in skin changes (mainly the skin on legs).
Diabetes coupled with neuropathy results in the leg and foot injuries which are not noticed by the patient due to lack of pressure or temperature sensation. Studies of human embryonic stem cells will yield information about the complex events that occur during human development.
New medications are tested for safety on differentiated cells generated from human pluripotent cell lines. Today, donated organs and tissues are often used to replace ailing or destroyed tissue, but the need for transplantable tissues and organs far outweighs the available supply. Preliminary research in mice and other animals indicates that bone marrow stromal cells, transplanted into a damaged heart, can have beneficial effects.
This loss triggers a cascade of detrimental events, including formation of scar tissue, an overload of blood flow and pressure capacity, the overstretching of viable cardiac cells attempting to sustain cardiac output, leading to heart failure, and eventual death.
A number of stem cell types, including embryonic stem (ES) cells, cardiac stem cells that naturally reside within the heart, myoblasts (muscle stem cells), adult bone marrow-derived cells including mesenchymal cells (bone marrow-derived cells that give rise to tissues such as muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, and adipose tissue), endothelial progenitor cells (cells that give rise to the endothelium, the interior lining of blood vessels), and umbilical cord blood cells, have been investigated as possible sources for regenerating damaged heart tissue.
New studies indicate that it may be possible to direct the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells in cell culture to form insulin-producing cells that eventually could be used in transplantation therapy for persons with diabetes. The following is a list of steps in successful cell-based treatments that scientists will have to learn to control to bring such treatments to the clinic. Research studies are giving hope to the ALS community by showing, for the first time, that the fatal disease may be treatable.
Teng is also director of the Spinal Cord Injury and Stem Cell Biology Research Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s. A decade of research conducted at multiple institutions showed, however, that when neural stem cells were transplanted into multilevels of the spinal cord of a mouse model with familial ALS, disease onset and progression slowed, motor and breathing function improved, and treated mice survived three to four times longer than untreated mice.
They also reduce inflammation and suppress the number of disease-causing cells in the host’s spinal cord. Rowling delivered the keynote address this afternoon (June 5) at Harvard University’s annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association.
The cells (blue), made from stem cells, can secrete insulin (green) in response to glucose. Louis and Harvard University have produced insulin-secreting cells from stem cells derived from patients with type 1 diabetes. The new discovery suggests a personalized treatment approach to diabetes may be on the horizona€”one that relies on the patients' own stem cells to manufacture new cells that make insulin. The scientists tested the cells in culture and in mice, and in both cases found that the cells secreted insulin in response to glucose. Melton, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a co-director of Harvard's Stem Cell Institute. Millman, PhD, and his colleagues have taken stem cells from the skin of patients with type 1 diabetes and coaxed those cells to differentiate into clusters of insulin-secreting beta islet cells (seen on the computer monitor). At that time, Millman expects the cells would be implanted under the skin of diabetes patients in a minimally invasive surgical procedure that would allow the beta cells access to a patient's blood supply.
Since these experiments have proven it's possible to make beta cells from the tissue of patients with type 1 diabetes, it's likely the technique also would work in patients with other forms of the diseasea€”including type 2 diabetes, neonatal diabetes and Wolfram syndrome.
Millman et al, Generation of stem cell-derived I?-cells from patients with type 1 diabetes, Nature Communications (2016). Early detection and prompt treatment prevent many skin problems from getting out of control. The yeast like fungal skin infection results in an inflamed, itchy rash, usually encircled by small blisters or scales. Other common fungal problems associated with diabetes cover Athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch. Some of them take up the form of boils, nail infection, carbuncles or folliculitis (infection involving the hair follicles).
This type of diabetic skin complication does not resolve entirely, but losing excess weight certainly improves the condition. This necrotizing type of skin condition is marked by irregularly formed hard lesions which are raised above the skin surface.
The sites where necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum is usually seen range from legs, hands, trunk or upper arms. The tender skin is prone to ulceration on slightest of trauma. This particular skin complication is characterized by thick, tight skin on the dorsal surface of both hands and results due to raised levels of blood glucose. Such blisters typically surface on the feet, legs, arms (extending below the elbow to the wrist), hands or dorsal aspect of fingers.


The sole mode of treatment for diabetic blister is to bring the blood sugar within normal limits. Unlike Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum, Eruptive xanthomatosis affects young males who have both, abnormally high triglycerides, as well as cholesterol levels. It is essentially a red or skin coloured rash which targets those parts of the body which are farther away from the trunk.
As the blood supply to the leg muscles diminishes, in case of any injury or infection, the healing process remains sluggish. A primary goal of this work is to identify how undifferentiated stem cells become the differentiated cells that form the tissues and organs. Stem cells, directed to differentiate into specific cell types, offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases including macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Whether these cells can generate heart muscle cells or stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that repopulate the heart tissue, or help via some other mechanism is actively under investigation. Given the aging of the population and the relatively dramatic recent increases in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, CVD will be a significant health concern well into the 21st century.
Restoring damaged heart muscle tissue, through repair or regeneration, is therefore a potentially new strategy to treat heart failure.
All have been explored in mouse or rat models, and some have been tested in larger animal models, such as pigs. The mechanism for this repair remains controversial, and the stem cells likely regenerate heart tissue through several pathways. Twenty-five percent of the treated ALS mice in the study survived for one year or more — roughly three to four times longer than the untreated mice. There, Millman had used similar techniques to make beta cells from stem cells derived from people who did not have diabetes. Then it would be possible to test the effects of diabetes drugs on the beta cells of patients with various forms of the disease.
According to the American Diabetes Association, roughly 33 percent of the entire diabetic population has or is currently living with skin complications induced by diabetes. The affected skin becomes hyper pigmented (it turns dark), hyperplastic (that is, it begins to show incremental growth), and is thick and velvet-like in texture. Other than the hands, joints such as those of the knees or elbows are also targeted, resulting in limited movement of the digits or joints.
The common sites affected by eruptive xanthomatosis include the buttocks, arms or even the facial region.
However, this type of rash is easy to handle with certain medicines (mostly a steroid for topical application). This common skin trouble takes the appearance of brown coloured, scaly patches with a circular shape. For example, injected cells may accomplish repair by secreting growth factors, rather than actually incorporating into the heart. However, the stem cell populations that have been tested in these experiments vary widely, as do the conditions of their purification and application. In these new experiments, the beta cells came from tissue taken from the skin of diabetes patients.
Skin dryness, sluggish blood circulation or development of a yeast infection form some of the prominent causes responsible for itchy skin.
Of all the bacterial strains, Staphylococcus is the main culprit behind the development of many skin infections. This type of skin condition mostly affects those who are overweight or diagnosed with diabetes.
Mostly noticed in the front aspect of lower legs, diabetic dermopathy remains asymptomatic. Some of the most serious medical conditions, such as cancer and birth defects, are due to abnormal cell division and differentiation. The availability of pluripotent stem cells would allow drug testing in a wider range of cell types. Promising results from animal studies have served as the basis for a small number of exploratory studies in humans (for discussion, see call-out box, "Can Stem Cells Mend a Broken Heart?"). Although much more research is needed to assess the safety and improve the efficacy of this approach, these preliminary clinical experiments show how stem cells may one day be used to repair damaged heart tissue, thereby reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease.
Still today, patients in several clinical trials have been given beta cell transplants with some success. A more complete understanding of the genetic and molecular controls of these processes may yield information about how such diseases arise and suggest new strategies for therapy. However, to screen drugs effectively, the conditions must be identical when comparing different drugs. Other recent studies in cell culture systems indicate that it may be possible to direct the differentiation of embryonic stem cells or adult bone marrow cells into heart muscle cells (Figure 3). Predictably controlling cell proliferation and differentiation requires additional basic research on the molecular and genetic signals that regulate cell division and specialization. Therefore, scientists must be able to precisely control the differentiation of stem cells into the specific cell type on which drugs will be tested.
As with all types of organ donation, the need for islet beta cells for people with type 1 diabetes greatly exceeds their availability. While recent developments with iPS cells suggest some of the specific factors that may be involved, techniques must be devised to introduce these factors safely into the cells and control the processes that are induced by these factors.
For some cell types and tissues, current knowledge of the signals controlling differentiation falls short of being able to mimic these conditions precisely to generate pure populations of differentiated cells for each drug being tested.




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