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June 27, 2007

Bioidentical Human Stem Cells Derived from Unfertilized Eggs

  • Researchers have successfully produced patient-specific parthenogenetic stem cells using unfertilized eggs that are pluripotent and functionally comparable to embryonic stem cells and are genetically matched to the female donor’s immune system. The paper has been published online ahead of print in Cloning and Stem Cells, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/clo.

    This study entitled, “Patient-Specific Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Parthenogenetic Blastocysts,” describes an efficient method that could be used to produce human parthenogenetic embryos that would serve as a source of renewable stem cells for use in cutting-edge cell therapies to treat female egg donors, minimizing the risk of immune rejection. The unfertilized eggs used to derive the stem cells contain genetic material derived exclusively from the female patient and are therefore genetically related to the egg donor.

    When injected into immunodeficient animal recipients, the parthenogenetic stem cells were able to differentiate into cells representing the three embryonic germ layers that eventually lead to all cell types found in a human body.

    Researchers from Lifeline Cell Technology and the Scientific Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology RAMS in Moscow derived six different pluripotent human parthenogenetic stem cell lines from eggs collected from female donors. The eggs were activated in culture to form parthenogenetic embryos, and the parthenogenetic stem cells were maintained and expanded in culture.

    This report provides a documented protocol that can be used to derive stem cell lines from human parthenogenetic embryos. The method minimizes the presence of animal-derived components, making the stem cells more suitable for clinical use in humans.