Tuesday, November 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Stem cell finding may offer bladder disease answers

By
From page A5 | May 15, 2014 |

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in coaxing laboratory cultures of human stem cells to develop into the specialized, unique cells needed to repair a patient’s defective or diseased bladder.

The breakthrough, developed at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and published last week in the scientific journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, is significant because it provides a pathway to regenerate replacement bladder tissue for patients whose bladders are too small or do not function properly, such as children with spina bifida and adults with spinal cord injuries or bladder cancer.

“Our goal is to use human stem cells to regenerate tissue in the lab that can be transplanted into patients to augment or replace their malfunctioning bladders,” said Eric Kurzrock, professor and chief of the division of pediatric urologic surgery at UCD Children’s Hospital and lead scientist of the study.

To develop the bladder cells, Kurzrock and his colleagues investigated two categories of human stem cells. In their key experiments, they used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which were derived from lab cultures of human skin cells and umbilical blood cells that had been genetically reprogrammed to convert to an embryonic stem cell-like state.

If additional research demonstrates that grafts of bladder tissue grown from human stem cells will be safe and effective for patient care, Kurzrock said that the source of the grafts would be iPS cells derived from a patient’s own skin or umbilical cord blood cells. This type of tissue would be optimal, he said, because it lowers the risk of immunological rejection that typifies most transplants.

In their investigation, Kurzrock and his colleagues developed a protocol to prod the pluripotent cells into becoming bladder cells. Their procedure was efficient and, most importantly, the cells proliferated over a long period of time — a critical element in any tissue engineering application.

“What’s exciting about this discovery is that it also opens up an array of opportunities using pluripotent cells,” said Jan Nolta, professor and director of the UCD Stem Cell program and a co-author on the new study.

“When we can reliably direct and differentiate pluripotent stem cells, we have more options to develop new and effective regenerative medicine therapies. The protocols we used to create bladder tissue also provide insight into other types of tissue regeneration.”

UCD researchers first used human embryonic stem cells obtained from the National Institutes of Health’s repository of human stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can become any cell type in the body (i.e., they are pluripotent), and the team successfully coaxed these embryonic stem cells into bladder cells.

They then used the same protocol to coax iPS cells made from skin and umbilical cord blood into bladder cells, called urothelium, that line the inside of the bladder. The cells expressed a very unique protein and marker of bladder cells called uroplakin, which makes the bladder impermeable to toxins in the urine.

The researchers adjusted the culture system in which the stem cells were developing to encourage the cells to proliferate, differentiate and express the bladder protein without depending upon signals from other human cells, said Kurzrock.

In future research, Kurzrock and his colleagues plan to modify the laboratory cultures so that they will not need animal and human products, which will allow use of the cells in patients.

Kurzrock’s primary focus as a physician is with children suffering from spina bifida and other pediatric congenital disorders. Currently, when he surgically reconstructs a child’s defective bladder, he must use a segment of their own intestine. Because the function of intestine, which absorbs food, is almost the opposite of bladder, bladder reconstruction with intestinal tissue may lead to serious complications, including urinary stone formation, electrolyte abnormalities and cancer.

Developing a stem cell alternative not only will be less invasive, but should prove to be more effective, too, he said.

Another benefit of the UCD study is the insight it may provide about the pathways of bladder cancer, which is diagnosed in more than 70,000 Americans each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Our study may provide important data for basic research in determining the deviations from normal biological processes that trigger malignancies in developing bladder cells,” said Nolta.

More than 90 percent of patients who need replacement bladder tissue are adults with bladder cancer.

Kurzrock said “cells from these patients’ bladders cannot be used to generate tissue grafts because the implanted tissue could carry a high risk of becoming cancerous. On the other hand, using bladder cells derived from patients’ skin may alleviate that risk. Our next experiments will seek to prove that these cells are safer.”

— UC Davis News

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Adopt a family for the holidays

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    ‘The Nutcracker’ magic returns to Vets’ Theater

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    UC students leave campuses in protest

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    As snow fades, California ski resorts are left high and very dry

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Downtown lights up at annual holiday open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Pre-holiday market opens at noon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Ferguson businesses torched in overnight protests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Candlelight vigil set tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Arraignment date set for ex-Woodland firefighter

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    No hazardous waste collection after Thanksgiving

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Lower American River expert speaks to local fly-fishers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Enterprise observes holiday hours

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Give blood and get a free movie ticket

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn how to accommodate low-vision readers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Are eggs safer from backyard chickens?

    By Trina Wood | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Lohse’s ballet students present ‘The Nutcracker’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    .

    Forum

    Wait, which one is Tom?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    This is getting expensive

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Tom Elias: Who needs a political party?

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A8

     
    Green beans aren’t the only ‘green’ this Thanksgiving

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Protect our migratory corridors

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Sit back, watch the spectacle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Behavior reflects on coaches, parents

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    .

    Sports

    Season’s over, but UCD is still making news on the pitch

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Wildhorse women’s group more than just golf

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Just like that, Classic turns Causeway Catastrophe

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lots of Aggie basketball at The Pavilion this week

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    DHS Madrigals plan traditional English winter celebration

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    B Street Theatre presents ‘Spinning Into Light’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7