Hysterectomies, a source of stem cells

A new research claims that fallopian tubes removed during hysterectomies could provide a rich new source of stem cells. Researchers found numbers of 'mesenchymal' stem cells in fallopian tubes taken from women of reproductive age. While grown in the laboratory, they were able to differentiate into muscle, fat, cartilage & bone cells.

The finding unveils a new way to create the promising cells, hoped to replenish tissues lost to disease, without using embryos. Researchers hope that one day stem cells will be used to treat a huge range of disorders in which parts of the body become damaged or lost. Examples include heart disease, brain diseases such as Parkinson's & insulin-dependent diabetes, in which insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed.

The new research led by Tatiana Jazedje said, “Tissue fragments of hFTs (human fallopian tubes), which are usually discarded after surgical procedures, may represent a new potential source of pluripotent cells for regenerative medicine.”

Women have a pair of fallopian tubes which transport eggs from the ovaries to the womb & are essential to pregnancy. The tubes are removed when women undergo certain gynecological procedures, including hysterectomies. Usually they are discarded. Mesenchymal stem cells are a particular family of 'mother' cell described as 'pluripotent' - meaning they have the potential to develop into a range of different tissues. They have also been obtained from umbilical cords, the inner pulp of teeth & fat tissue.


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