Skip to comments.Tiny Human Liver Built from a Cocktail of Cells
Posted on 07/03/2013 1:32:17 PM PDT by mandaladon
Stem cells have been used by scientists in Japan to create tiny but working human livers, with complex networks of blood vessels.
The human "liver buds" were transplanted into mice, where they grew blood vessels and produced proteins such as albumin that are specific to humans. They also metabolized some drugs that human liver breaks down but a mouse liver cannot.
The researchers further confirmed the livers were working by showing that transplanting a liver into a mouse whose liver was lethally damaged allowed the animal to live longer then expected.
"It's a human liver, functioning in a mouse," said study researcher Takanori Takebe, a stem-cell biologist at Yokohama City University in Japan. He and his colleagues detailed their work in an article published today (July 3) in the journal Nature.
In humans, liver buds form during embryonic development, and are the precursors to the fully formed organ. In their experiments, the researchers grew the buds in dishes, from a cocktail of three cell types including stem cells that were programmed to become liver cells.
We basically mimicked the early processes of liver bud forming, Takebe said.
It took two days for the cells in the dish to self-organize into a three-dimensional liver bud. The key reason for the success of this technique was using stem cells together with cells from the umbilical cord and bone marrow, the researchers said. Such cells are involved in the formation of an organ during development.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
With teeny tiny fava beans?
5 to 6 years before human trails but this is promising.
Ted Kennedy’s liver was made up of a cocktail of cocktails.
Then it should work for pancreas cells as well........
And this to keep your liver clean!..........
Yet another scientific victory using adult stem cells. Still waiting for the first breakthrough using embryonic stem cells.
Yesterday head transplants. Today livers.
Amazing what tomorrow will bring.
As long as there are no fetal stem cells, I’m all for it!
A Chimera will be the abomination of desolation.
Was the cocktail a Bloody Mary?
The key reason for the success of this technique was using stem cells together with cells from the umbilical cord and bone marrow, the researchers said.
How he did it
Takebe and his team grew the organ using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), created by reprogramming human skin cells to an embryo-like state. The researchers placed the cells on growth plates in a specially designed medium; after nine days, analysis showed that they contained a biochemical marker of maturing liver cells, called hepatocytes.
At that key point, Takebe added two more types of cell known to help to recreate organ-like function in animals: endothelial cells, which line blood vessels, taken from an umbilical cord; and mesenchymal cells, which can differentiate into bone, cartilage or fat, taken from bone marrow. Two days later, the cells assembled into a 5-millimeter-long, three-dimensional tissue that the researchers labelled a liver bud an early stage of liver development.
Thanks, I didn’t see pluripotent cells mentioned in the original article. That in itself is telling.
I have always wondered if it would be possible to take a biopsy of an organ (liver) and freeze the sample for later possible use. That way if a disease was in it’s early stage and was not spread throughout the organ, it would be possible to preserve the tissue for later use.