MAPCs found in pigs
Verfaillie and colleagues had previously isolated MAPCs from bone marrow of humans, mice and rats. But in order to study potential treatments for people, the research needs to be tested in animal models that are more physiologically similar to humans. In the November 2006 issue of the journal Stem Cells, Verfaillie described how MAPCs can be isolated from pig bone marrow. Pigs are routinely used as a model for humans, especially in cardiovascular research. The researchers were able to isolate and grow the pig MAPCs with some modifications much like they identify human, mouse and rat MAPCs. After isolating the MAPCs, the scientists were able to differentiate the cells into different types of cells that give rise to bone, smooth muscle, fat, cartilage, endothelium (cells that line blood vessels), and cells that are similar to liver and brain cells.
MAPCs and endothelial cells
A team of researchers from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and the University of Minnesota published in the journal Blood (November 2006) on the ability of MAPCs to differentiate into two types of endothelial cells, which line the inner walls of blood vessels. By adding various growth factors, the researchers, led by Felipe Prosper, M.D., of Spain, were able to make the human MAPCs differentiate into both arterial endothelial and venous endothelial cells in both a laboratory environment and in mice. Like the studies showing that MAPCs can make blood when transplanted, this is a seco
Contact: Sara E. Buss
University of Minnesota