Researchers suggest making stem cells more potent, not more numerous

May 18, 2020

For years, scientists have looked for ways to generate more blood stem cells for clinical therapies. But a research team from Mount Sinai in New York has found a way to make higher-quality stem cells, rather than more numerous ones, in a new study.

“This research group believes the answer is not necessarily to produce more of the cells, but make them a higher quality,” said Scott Jones, Vice President, Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global. “Quality means they exhibit more stem potential and engraft better in the new host.”

Higher-quality hematopoietic stem cells could make a marrow transplant more effective, and potentially allow more transplants from a single donation.

“In order for these stem cells to maintain optimal potency, they shouldn't be constantly dividing – putting them under metabolic stress that can alter their health and longevity,” said Saghi Ghaffari, one of the investigators from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Jones noted that the process also could be used to make cord blood stem cell units more effective as a therapy.

The research study was done on mice, so it will need to be expanded to adult stem cells, Jones said.

Results were published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

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