No Difference in Reprogrammed Cells From Old and Young Mice

In the last couple of years there have been promising indicators to suggest that age is no barrier to producing useful cells for therapy from a patient. Here is another: "Advanced age is associated with decreased stem cell activity. However, the effect of aging on the differentiation capacity of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into cardiovascular cells has not been fully clarified. We investigated whether iPS cells derived from young and old mice are equally capable of differentiating into vascular progenitor cells, and whether these cells regulate vascular responses in vivo. iPS cells from mouse embryonic fibroblasts (young) or 21 month-old mouse bone marrow (old) were used. Fetal liver kinase-1 positive (Flk-1+) cells, as a vascular progenitor marker, were induced after 3 to 4 days of culture from iPS cells derived from young and old mice. ... purified Flk-1+ cells were directly injected into ischemic hindlimbs of nude mice. Revascularization of the ischemic hindlimb was significantly accelerated in mice transplanted with Flk-1+ cells derived from iPS cells from either young or old mice, as compared to control mice ... The degree of revascularization was similar in the two groups of ischemic mice injected with iPS cell-derived Flk-1+ cells from young or old mice. [The] properties of iPS cells derived from old mice are essentially the same as those of iPS cells from young mice, suggesting the functionality of generated iPS cells themselves to be unaffected by aging." It should be noted that while old cells seem to work just as well, the aged environment of the patient's body does present an obstacle to the benefits of cell therapies.



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