Till now it was revealed that stem cells have a unique capability to develop into any kind of cells, but what was a major concern of researchers, was how stem cell get to understand that they should organize themselves in tubes and not in layers? And this questioned has been answered for the first time ever by the researchers of the Uppsala University through their latest research showing that a special type of “instructor” molecule is behind this mystery.
Our body consists of different types of organs with different types of cell arrangement. Cells arrangement depends on the location of organ in our body. Blood vessel cells need to form three-dimensional, tube-like structures that can transport blood. But how do blood vessel cells know that they should do that? The answer is that some variants of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) have the ability to attract another protein, an “instructor” molecule, which is joined together with VEGF and its receptor. The combination of instructor molecule, VEGF and receptor sends specific signal inside the blood vessel cells, telling them to make the structure of a tube. Without the instructor molecule the cells line up next to each other, in a layer.
This innovated discovery has increased the hope of scientists as Lena Claesson-Welsh, who led the study says that, till now
stem cells are used to create new cells, organs and even tissues. Our contribution has made it possible to create blood vessels from stem cells to direct them to form a tube instead of a layer, who knows may be in future our contribution will direct the cells to form other tube-like structures in the body, such as the lung and intestines. The perspectives for the future are very exciting and a mystery too.