Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CIRM grantees at Salk create kidney buds from human stem cells

Kidney bud created from human stem cells (in blue and green). Cells in red are mouse kidney cells. Courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Our grantees at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have used stem cells to create three dimensional kidney buds in a lab dish. These miniature structures aren't intended as replacement parts, but as little laboratories for testing drugs to treat kidney disease.

Over the years scientists have been stymied in their attempts to coax human stem cells -- either embryonic or reprogrammed iPS cells -- into cells of the kidney. The goal had been to generate human kidney cells in a lab dish that could then be used to screen drugs to treat kidney disease. But they cells just didn't want to cooperate.

The team at Salk, led by Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, started out by getting the human stem cells part way down the path to becoming kidney cells. Then, to get the rest of the way, placed the cells in a dish with embryonic mouse kidney cells. Those mouse cells gave the human pre-kidney cells signals they needed to fully develop into the types of three dimensional buds that you'd find in a developing kidney. This work was published in the November 17 Nature Cell Biology.

They took this approach one step further, and created iPS cells from people with a form of kidney disease called PKD. Using their technique, the group coaxed those cells to form kidney buds in a lab dish. These cells provide the first access scientists have had to directly study diseased kidney tissue in a lab dish.

A press release from Salk quotes lead study author Ignacio Sancho-Martinez, a research associate in Izpisua Belmonte's laboratory.
"Our differentiation strategies represent the cornerstone of disease modeling and drug discovery studies. Our observations will help guide future studies on the precise cellular implications that PKD might play in the context of kidney development."
This is one of several studies CIRM funds in which scientists are, for the first time, able to study functional human tissue in a lab dish. Now, the scientists can test drugs to improve how the cells function rather than testing the drugs in animals, which in many cases respond to those drugs very differently than humans.

CIRM funding:  Yun Xia and Keiichiro Suzuki (TG2-01158)

Amy Adams

ResearchBlogging.orgXia Y, Nivet E, Sancho-Martinez I, Gallegos T, Suzuki K, Okamura D, Wu MZ, Dubova I, Esteban CR, Montserrat N, Campistol JM, & Belmonte JC (2013). Directed differentiation of human pluripotent cells to ureteric bud kidney progenitor-like cells. Nature cell biology PMID: 24240476

1 comment:

  1. Nobel Prize Winner In Medicine Is Telling Students Not To Stay In America

    James Rothman, who won the prize in medicine, believes that the cuts make the U.S. unable to retain the world’s top young scientists. In fact, he said he now tells his students to go abroad.

    “I actually advise my students not to stay in the United States,” he said. “Frankly, if I were 10 years younger, that’s exactly what I would do.”

    Michael Levitt, winner of the prize in chemistry, lamented the fact that NIH money was readily available for those over the age of 65, but had dried up for everyone under the age of 40. He noted that most of the laureates had made their discoveries before they turned 40 and that reduced funding for younger generations could endanger future discoveries.

    Two other laureates who won their prize in medicine spoke against the sequester. Randy Schekman called it an “unmitigated disaster” while Thomas Südof said it “imposes an enormous danger to science, progress and research.”
    There was one laureate who offered his disagreement. Economist Eugene Fama noted that government spending on research cannot be infinite and that there is a correct level of funding that also must be balanced between the public and private sector.

    Rothman wasn’t amused.

    “I’ve never heard of a more ill conceived remark than that,” he shot back.

    it's infinite for shoddy assets though..............and status quo go...even in medical field.

    When are you guys going to start using all your discoveries to help people?