A new study conducted by scientists at Children’s Hospital Oakland claimed that stem cells extracted from human placenta could play an important role curing deadly diseases like leukemia and sickle cell disease and other blood related disorders.
Placenta acts as an life support system for a fetus, it is made of embryonic cells and stuck in the wall of the uterus.
Functions of Placenta:
- It helps continue the blood supply between mother to fetus.
- It supplies oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
- It removes wastes from fetus and returns them to the mother’s blood. which ultimately disposed through mothers kidney.
- It produces hormones that play a role in triggering labor and delivery.
- Placenta also helps protect the fetus from infections and potentially harmful substances.
In this present study researchers able to remove and grow large number of blood producing stem cells from placenta.
According to senior scientist Frans Kuypers, the biggest advantage of such stem cells is that they do not require the perfect match, because they do not trigger the same strong immune system response.
But in the case of analogous bone marrow transplants a perfect match is highly required.
Because if the donor has a different tissue type, the recipient’s body will not recognize the new cells and will attack them, leading to what is known as graft-versus-host disease.
However, it is a good news for African-Americans, Asians and multiracial individuals, who often have difficulty obtaining compatible bone marrow donors. As minorities cannot find a match in the national donor program, and as a consequence of that, they may die
The placental stem cells, like umbilical cord blood, are much more tolerant with respect to matching, scientists even believe they are identical. But scientists would like to keep placental stem cells steps ahead than cord blood, as umbilical cord blood provide only a small number of stem cells, making adult transplants difficult. This study finds that the placenta has a several-fold increase in the number of stem cells compared when with cord blood, which could make it easier to transplant adults and larger children.
Since 1997, Children’s Hospital has cured more than 100 young people with blood-related disorders by cord blood transplants, now they are looking forward for some extra funds to proceed with this more promising placental stem cell research. They are determined to put their best efforts to better utilize the in built stem cells that have already proven as a potential cure for deadly diseases.
The findings will appear in the July issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.
Source: Inside BayArea