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PNAS:人耳中存在软骨干细胞

日本研究人员8日在美国《国家科学院学报》网络版上发表论文说,他们在人耳中发现了可发育为软骨的干细胞。

横滨市立大学教授谷口英树率领的研究小组,在对小耳症患者切除的耳软骨进行分析时发现,覆盖耳软骨的膜中存在一种特殊细胞,这一细胞具有发育为软骨等组织的干细胞性质。

研究人员成功在试管中将这种软骨干细胞培育为成熟软骨细胞,然后将其移植到实验鼠背部皮肤上,最后形成了软骨。这种再生软骨在实验鼠身上维持了约10个月。

研究小组认为,利用这一成果,今后在治疗鼻骨骨折、面部骨折等面部变形时,有望从患者耳中采集软骨干细胞,进行软骨细胞培养并移植到患者的腹部皮下脂肪,等软骨细胞发育成一定程度大小的软骨后,移植到患部。

研究人员计划在获得日本厚生劳动省批准后,最早明年开始临床研究。

 

英文原文报道:

Japanese Discover Stem Cells from Ear Cartilage

A Japanese research team said Monday it has discovered stem cells from human ear cartilage, which may open the way for regenerative medicine to treat deformities of the head and face.

Despite strong demand, there is currently no effective treatment for craniofacial injuries or abnormalities, the team said in its research paper published online by the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

One promising approach involves elastic cartilage reconstruction based on stem cells collected from the patients themselves, but no definitive evidence had been established of the presence of stem cells in human cartilage, the paper said.

But Hideki Taniguchi, professor at Yokohama City University, Shinji Kobayashi, who heads the reconstructive surgery department of the Kanagawa Children's Medical Center, and their colleagues discovered stem cells from the membrane that covers ear cartilage, a flexible white tissue that gives shape to the outer ear, after closely examining the small cartilage.

The team also developed a technique to grow collected stem cells into cartilage efficiently. The obtained cartilage remained in stable condition for as long as 10 months after it was transplanted under the skin of immunodeficient mice.

 

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