Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stem cells: Identifying self renewing cells

Large numbers of adult stem cells can be efficiently obtained from testis, thanks to a newly identified molecule on the cell surface that will allow researchers to tell them apart from non-self-renewing cell types.

Shahin Rafii and colleagues report online this week in Nature that a newly discovered marker, GPR125, flags rapidly multiplying adult spermatogonial progenitor cells and does not appear on differentiated germ-cell counterparts. They developed a system whereby they can use this marker to generate large numbers of stem cells from mouse testicles. These stem-cell populations formed functioning blood vessels in mice, and it has been demonstrated that they convert to cardiac tissue in culture.
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