Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Human blood progenitors made from skin

Following earlier studies showing that mouse fibroblasts could be converted into neurons and muscle cells without the need to create first iPS, a recent paper in Nature presented the first direct conversion of human skin cells into blood subtypes.
Szabo et al. (7 Nov 2010; doi:10.1038/nature09591) transduced human skin fibroblasts with the pluripotency factor OCT4 and grew them with different cytokines to convert them into hematopoietic progenitors and mature blood cells. After a few days, the cells expressed the pan- haematopoietic factor CD45 and eventually gave rise to all blood cell types (myeloid, erythroid and megakaryocytic lineages), depending on the cytokines added to the medium.

The hemotopoietic differentiation medium used in this study to derive blood progenitors was made with cytokines from R&D Systems:

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