Regenerative Medicine Explained

Two study teams recorded effective reprogramming of an adult human cell back to an original condition of pluripotency just two years earlier, in the fall of 2007. Such a reprogrammed cell-labeled an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS cell)-is capable of differentiating into either cell form. The capacity of iPS cells to become advanced cells such as insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells, intestinal lining cells that contain digestive enzymes, kidney cells, cardiac cells, nerve cells, skin cells, and tendon, ligament, cartilage, and bone cells; iPS cells may generate particular cells, tissues , and organs for use in treating disease and/or transplantation under the right conditions.Check out Regenerative Medicine Charlotte Association for more info.


Adult cell re-programming opens up entirely new areas in medical science. If the iPS cells are shown to be identical to embryonic stem cells ( ESCs), reprogramming possibilities would have a huge effect on the debate concerning ESC study. Reprogramming utilises adult cells instead of ESCs, and most of the regenerative medicine will continue without the need to kill embryos.

The two researchers, headed by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka at Japan’s Kyoto University and University of Wisconsin’s Dr. James Thomson, used related approaches to reprogram adult human skin cells. Years of study also contributed to many unique genes being found which would cause a cell to revert to a pluripotent state. Initially Dr. Yamanaka experimented on a selection of 24 chromosomes, aiming to find the most successful applicants. Analysis has contributed to the discovery of a four gene community-Sox2, c-Myc, Oct-4 and Klf4. These genes were incorporated into particles of the virus, and the virus was used to transfect the skin cells of adults. Activating certain genes inside the adult skin cell results in the release of different transcription factors. These proteins stimulate other skin cell genes that allow the cell to revert to a pluripotent state.

The discovery was front-page news in The New York Times, but it allowed certain elements of the process to be streamlined and overhauled. It is problemtic to use a virus to insert the transforming genes. Viral genetic material is often transfected, and several unexpected effects, such as causing the cell to become cancerous, can occur. Viral RNA or DNA would become a permanent component of the cell line-all cells, tissues or organs that were produced from the initial iPS cell would carry the viral genetic material. The large-scale usage of viral delivery mechanisms will result in a transformation of the human genetic makeup, with unpredictable and potentially catastrophic effects.

Analysis to extract non-viral methods of incorporating the transforming genes has been underway since 2007. At the Whitehead Center for Biomedical Science in Cambridge, MA, Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch heads one of the worldwide teams trying to address these problems. His team recently discovered a small molecule of proteins that is capable of replacing Klf4, one of the genes used to reprogram adult cells. If small molecules may efficiently replicate any of the genes, a viral delivery mechanism will not be required. Such progress will carry the world of regenerative medicine to full swing.