Researchers Discover Problems With Using Stem Cells to Make Liver and Pancreatic Cells
A new study done by researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine has indicated why it is so difficult to use stem cells to create liver and pancreatic cells. The researchers believe that the results of the study could help to discover new treatments for diseases such as Type 1 diabetes.
The study discovered that chromosomes in laboratory stem cells open slowly over time and it isn’t until certain regions of the chromosomes reach the open state that they can even respond to growth factors that can change them into liver or pancreatic cells.
The ability to generate liver and pancreatic cells has not been solved which is a hindrance to testing new drugs on cell-derived liver and pancreatic cells, according to Dr. Maike Sander, a professor of pediatrics and cellular and molecular medicine, and director of the Pediatric Diabetes Research Center at UCSD.
The researchers also noted that if a genetic variation occurs in chromosomal regions that results in a failure of the region to open at the right time, then that person may be at a higher risk of a disease that affects that cell type that results from the stem cells.