Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have created stem cells from the eggs of aging mice that could be used for reproductive purposes and regenerative medicine. The study, published in April issue of Aging Cell, found that even though the eggs from older females were slightly less efficient at making stem cells than those from younger females, the capacity to create stem cells was sustained.
“Using stem cells derived from older female mice eggs, we have produced new heart cells, brain cells and nerve cells,” says David Keefe, MD, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “If these findings are applied to humans, a woman could use her eggs to produce a child and then store other eggs to later create stem cells to be turned into cartilage, for example, for the treatment of arthritis, neural cells if she develops Parkinson’s disease and even heart cells to repair a damaged heart.”
Study authors say the technique described in the study could avoid most ethical and religious concerns about embryonic stem cells because only eggs, not embryos, would be used to create the stem cell lines. Stem cell lines created from eggs also carry the same immune markers as the eggs, which would eliminate the risk of rejection.
The study was funded by Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation in Dallas, Texas.
About NYU Langone Medical Center
NYU Langone Medical Center is one of the nation’s premier centers of excellence in healthcare, biomedical research, and medical education. For over 168 years, NYU physicians and researchers have made countless contributions to the practice and science of health care. Today the Medical Center consists of NYU School of Medicine, including the Smilow Research Center, the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences; and the NYU Hospitals Center, including Tisch Hospital, a 705-bed acute-care general hospital, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, the first and largest facility of its kind, and NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, a leader in musculoskeletal care, a Clinical Cancer Center and numerous ambulatory sites.