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Medical Can we make stem cells from fat tissue?

  1. Jan 10, 2012 #1
    Please teach me this:
    I hear that we can make stem cells from fat tissue that is used in medical treatment.Is that correct?
    Thank you very much for your kind helping.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2012 #2
    Doesn't sound right, stem cells are undifferentiated cells whereas fat cells are differentiated and undifferentiating(?) cells is (as far as I know) not currently possible.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2012 #3

    Ygggdrasil

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    Yes, fat cells can be reprogrammed into stem cells. See Sun, N. et al. 2009. Feeder-free derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells from adult human adipose stem cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 106: 15720. doi:10.1073/pnas.0908450106 PMCID:PMC2739869

    Although the reprogrammed stem cells generated by these types of methods do seem like genuine stem cells, there is still some debate among scientists how "stem-like" the cells actually are. While they offer some promise for use in medical applications, much more work needs to be done to characterize their properties and their safety in humans before they are used in medicine.
     
  5. Jan 10, 2012 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    All cells contain the same DNA, the difference is in the complement of genes that are expressed (on) and the complement that are not (off). Inducible pluripotent stem cells, (iPSCs) are a very exciting research topic, the essentially tactic is to take some primary cells from a patient and treat them with factors which reprogram them into stem cells. Ygggdrasil has it spot on though; much more work needs to be done. One of the biggest issues is that genetic modification of cells randomly inserts the desired genes into the genome, this has a tendency to cause the iPSCs to become cancerous. There are methods that try to avoid this but so far there is no good method to produce high quality iPSCs in high numbers. On top of this there is still the problem of controlling cell behaviour in a desirable way for medical treatment.

    In spite of this iPSCs are very exciting and will hopefully open up an avenue for a wealth of future treatments.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2012 #5

    Monique

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  7. Jan 10, 2012 #6

    Ryan_m_b

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  8. Jan 10, 2012 #7

    Ygggdrasil

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    Although The Scientist writes that the adipose derived stem cells are pleuripotent, both papers that it cites claim that these cells are only multipotent. Still, as these cells can be coaxed into a variety of different lineages including adipogenic, osteogenic, chondrogenic, and myogenic lineages (Guilak et al 2006), they are also promising for use in the clinic and would not pose as many safety issues as with iPS cells.
     
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