Washington DC (SPX) Sep 15, 2010
For most people, wisdom teeth are not much more than an annoyance that eventually needs to be removed. However, a new study appearing in the Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that wisdom teeth contain a valuable reservoir of tissue for the creation of stem cells; thus, everyone might be carrying around his or her own personal stem-cell repository should he or she ever need some.
Groundbreaking research back in 2006 revealed that inducing the activity of four genes in adult cells could "reprogram" them back into a stem-cell-like state; biologically, these induced-pluripotent stem cells are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells, opening up a new potential avenue for stem-cell therapy whereby patients could be treated with their own stem cells.
However, despite their promise, making iPS cells is not easy; the reprogramming efficiencies are very low and vary among the cells that can be used for iPS generation and thus require good amount of "starter" cells - which might involve difficult extraction from body tissue (unfortunately skin cells, the easiest to acquire, show very low reprogramming efficiency).
Now, a team of scientists at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology may have found an ideal source: third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth.
The soft pulp inside of teeth contains a population of cells known as mesenchymal stromal cells that are similar to cells found in bone marrow, a common stem-cell source. However, unlike bone marrow, tooth pulp is more easily obtained, especially in wisdom teeth, which most individuals have removed anyway.
The researchers, led by Hajime Ohgushi, collected tooth samples from three donors and managed to generate a series of iPS cell lines following the similar procedure of activating three key genes (however, in another beneficial change they did not have activate the c-MYC gene which might lead the cells to become cancerous).
The different cell lines displayed varying degrees of robustness but in some cases proliferated quite well, up to 100 times more efficiently than typical skin-cell-derived iPS cells. The molar-derived cells also could differentiate into many other cell types including beating cardiomyocytes (see an attached movie), as expected.
The presence of a supply of MSCs in wisdom teeth could have meaningful therapeutic ramifications. As noted by the researchers and others, wisdom tooth extraction is a common medical procedure in developed nations and, thus, creates a perfect opportunity to remove biological material in a sterilized setting; the teeth subsequently can be frozen and stored for many years until needed.
In the meantime, that also provides time for researchers to better understand the details of iPS creation to further increase the efficiency for clinical use.
From the JBC article: "Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Human Third Molar Mesenchymal Stromal Cells" by Yasuaki Oda, Yasuhide Yoshimura, Hiroe Ohnishi, Mika Tadokoro, Yoshihiro Katsube, Mari Sasao, Yoko Kubo, Koji Hattori, Shigeru Saito, Katsuhisa Horimoto, Shunsuke Yuba and Hajime Ohgushi.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The Clone Age - Cloning, Stem Cells, Space Medicine
Wisdom teeth could be stem cell source
Tokyo (UPI) Sep 10, 2010
A study has found that human wisdom teeth contain a valuable reservoir of tissue that could be used to create stem cells, researchers say. Research has found that inducing the activity of four genes in adult cells could "reprogram" them into a stem cell-like state; biologically, these induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells, opening a pote ... read more
Sirius XM-5 Satellite Delivered To Baikonur For October Launch|
Emerging Technologies May Fuel Revolutionary Launcher
EUMETSAT Chooses Arianespace To Launch Metop-C
Falcon 1e Launch Capabilities Brought To The European Institutional Market
NASA's Next Mars Rover Rolls Over Ramps
Don't Forget Deimos
Russia to test Mars lander for 2011 flight
How Microbes Could Help Colonize Mars
Russia To Test Unmanned Lander For Mars Moon Mission
China preps next lunar space mission
Chandrayaan-2 Will Try Out New Ideas And Technologies
Data From Chandrayaan Moon Mission To Go Public
Flying To The Edge
Picture-Perfect Pluto Practice
Weighing The Planets, From Mercury To Saturn
Pounding Particles To Create Neptune's Water In The Lab
This Planet Smells Funny
Scientists looking to spot alien oceans
Deadly Tides Mean Early Exit For Hot Jupiters
Can We Spot Volcanoes On Alien Worlds
Successful Static Testing Of L 110 Liquid Core Stage Of GSLV 3
Danish rocketeers abort launch attempt
Technical glitch grounds homemade Danish rocket
ISRO To Conduct Key Test For GSLV Mk III Rocket Next Week
China's Second Lunar Probe Chang'e-2 To Reach Lunar Orbit Faster Than Chang'e-1
China Finishes Construction Of First Unmanned Space Module
China Contributes To Space-Based Information Access A Lot
China Sends Research Satellite Into Space
Scientists find 'rubble pile' asteroids
Avoiding An Asteroid Collision
Amateur Astronomers Open Potential Lab In Outer Space For Planetary Scientists
Two asteroids to pass close to Earth, but won't hit: NASA
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|