The study published by US biologists in Science magazine says that it is now possible to extract cells that become the fat tissue from the walls of blood vessels. New findings will help in the treatment of diabetes and obesity as well as improve wound healing. Progenitor cells of the fat tissue are mature stem cells. Unlikely embryonic stem cells that turn into any cell type, they can develop into different cell types within only one tissue – fat tissue in this case.
Stem Cells Experiments
Mature stem cells could be medically useful, provided there is a possibility to extract them from different parts of the body and move into other parts. So far there has been a major technological challenge of identifying and extracting these stem cells.
The researches at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center managed to find the exact location of stem cells in mice and invent a device for these cells’ isolation.
Stem Cells and Obesity
Scientists engineered a line of mice with the stem cells that would glow green, allowing them watch the cells moving and developing into fat tissue cells. They found the stem cells are located within the walls of the blood vessels that nourish fat tissue. When fat tissue cells die, stem cells are dividing to produce new fat cells. Moreover, stem cells start developing into fat cells if they sense excess caloric intake. As a result, fat cells are multiplying, which may be a cause of obesity.
Green Light for Obesity Treatment
Green glow allowed the researches to separate the progenitor cells from the fat tissue of mice. During lab studies, scientists found the stem cells have molecules on the surface, which can make the job of isolating stem cells from human body easier.
“Since we now can isolate the progenitor cells, we can study their molecular structure. That will not only unveil how they function but also will help in treatment of many humane conditions”, – says the head of research team Dr. Jonathan Graff.
Scientists believe their findings will help in the treatment of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. It can also improve wound healing and resolution of scars.