ESPCs derived from pig provide important implications for developmental biology, organ transplantation, regenerative medicine, disease modeling, and screening for drugs.
FREMONT, CA:Stem cell therapy, usually applied to humans, is now extended to animals too. It is a regenerative treatment applied to cats, dogs, pigs, and other animals. It includes removing cells from bone marrow, blood or fat, umbilical cords, and the cell can grow into any kind of cell and can repair damaged tissues. The regenerative therapy has been successful in animals. It can be used mainly for the treatment of spinal cord and bone injuries along with the problems with tendons, ligaments, and joints. One of the breakthroughs is the embryonic stem cell lines obtained from the pig.
Scientists have derived “Expanded Potential Stem Cells” (EPSCs) from pig embryos for the first time. They offer the groundbreaking potential to study embryonic development and produce translational research in genomics and regenerative medicine. Embryonic stem cells (ESC) are derived from the inner cells of early embryos called blastocysts. They are pluripotent cells as they can develop into various cell types of the body in the culture dish. The newly derived porcine EPSCs isolated from pig embryos are the first well-characterized cell lines worldwide. Their pluripotent ability provides important implications for developmental biology, organ transplantation, regenerative medicine, disease modeling, and screening for drugs.
The stem cells can renew themselves, showing that they can be kept in culture indefinitely while showing the typical morphology and gene expression patterns of embryonic stem cells. Because somatic cells have a limited lifespan, they cannot be used for such applications, and therefore the new stem cells are better suited for the lengthy selection process. These porcine stem cell lines can easily be edited with new genome editing techniques like CRISPR/Cas, and are currently the simplest, most versatile and precise method of genetic manipulation.
The EPSC’s have a greater capacity to develop into numerous cell types of the organism as well as into extraembryonic tissue, the trophoblasts, rending them very unique and, thus, their name. This capacity is valuable for the future promising organoid technology where organ-like small cell aggregations are grown in 3D aggregates and used for research into early embryo development, various disease models, and testing of new drugs in Petri dishes. Also, they offer a unique possibility to investigate functions or diseases of the placenta in vitro.