American scientists have managed to make adult body cells return to what they actually grow out from – germ line precursor cells. To treat infertility (helping parents conceive a baby who will inherit a part of their DNA), doctors need a lot of healthy eggs and sperm cells. Researchers say it might be possible to use adult body cells for this purpose. One of the approaches is to transform skin cells of parents into induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells (fist stage) and then further into germ line precursor cells (second stage) that are capable of producing sperm and eggs.
Amander Clark and her UCLA research team sailed through the second stage. They successfully reprogrammed iPS cells (adult body cells of parents) into germ cell precursors.
Induced pluripotent stem cells may become substantial alternative to ethically controversial use of human embryonic stem cells. IDS cells are also capable of converting into cells of any tissue and can be developed from somatic cells of the person who needs treatment.
Clark and her research team not only transformed iPS cells into germ precursors but also compared them with germ cells derived from human embryonic cells. It became clear that certain vital processes were not performed correctly in iPS generated germ cells. Why so? That’s yet to be discovered.
New findings may open the door for new treatments for infertility in the years to come.
Source of the image: hypoxium.com.