Liver Cells From Bone Marrow Stem Cells?

University researchers announce successful lab experiments

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Adult bone marrow stem cells can become fully functioning liver cells, say researchers at the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute.

The university's scientists were the first to take adult stem cells cultured from the bone marrow of humans, mice and rats and, in test tubes, turn them into cells that behave like liver cells, says a study in today's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The researchers say this could have a number of benefits. These stem cells could provide a source of liver cells for people with genetic diseases of the liver or for people suffering cirrhosis or acute liver failure caused by medications. They might even be used to create bio-artificial livers.

The cells could also be used in toxicity tests by drug researchers and manufacturers.

More information

The complex world of stem cell research is a maze of government regulations, scientific inquiry and hoped-for health breakthroughs. This link to the U.S. National Institutes of Health gives some insight into how all the research is being coordinated by the government.

SOURCE: May 15, 2002, Journal of Clinical Investigation
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