Published on February 1, 2013 at 8:27 AM
One of the difficulties encountered by the researchers when carrying out this study is that, from a methodological approach, some of the required techniques were not possible to carry out at IMIM's laboratories, and for this reason collaboration was established with the group lead by Prof. Masayuki Yamamoto at the Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan. The first signatory of the paper, Dr. Jordi Grau, travelled to Sendai for four months but, due to the earthquake in 2011, it was impossible to conclude the task. It was thanks to the collaborations established with the group lead by Prof. Elaine Dzierzak at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam that it was finally possible to continue with the project.
The process of generating stem cells specifically from tissue in a laboratory is being studied in many laboratories around the world, but this has not yet been achieved. This shows that we need further research into the mechanisms used be the embryo to generate these cells and which regulating genes are involved in this process. "We discovered a basic circuit but there are still many more to discover. Our end objective is to validate our results with cells coming from mouse embryonic stem cells and then being able to use this knowledge to generate human hematopoietic stem cells in a laboratory for therapeutic purposes. These cells could then be used for patients needing a hematologic transplant and do not have a compatible donor" concludes Dr. Bigas.
Source: IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute)