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Expansion of embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived progenitors in organ-matched mesenchymal cultures

Expansion of ESC-derived progenitors in organ-matched mesenchymal cell culture could be used to generate adequate cell numbers for cell-based therapies. Coculture of human ESC-derived pancreas endodermal cells and human primary pancreas mesenchymal cells led to a 65 million-fold expansion of the endodermal cells. The expanded endodermal cells could be differentiated into pancreatic progenitors that developed into glucose-sensing, insulin-producing cells after being injected under the kidney capsule in mice. In glucose tolerance tests, mice engrafted with pancreatic progenitors had blood glucose levels similar to those in mice engrafted with human islets. Next steps could include expansion of other types of organ-specific cells.

SciBX 5(42); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1124
Published online Oct. 25, 2012

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Sneddon, J.B. et al. Nature; published online Oct. 7, 2012;
Contact: Douglas A. Melton, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.