Method for manufacturing patient-specific human platelets

November 22, 2010, Rockefeller University

Skin cells from humans can be revamped into pro-clotting cells called platelets, according to a study published on November 22 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Patients with diseases causing thrombocytopenia—platelet deficiency—often require repeated transfusions with platelets obtained from healthy donors.

But donor platelet isolation is expensive and labor intensive, and donor platelets can be attacked by the patient's immune systems as "foreign." Therefore, Koji Eto and colleagues sought a method for generating custom-made platelets from patients' own cells.

The team first reprogrammed human skin cells to a more primitive, stem cell–like state; these cells were then cultured in a cocktail of platelet-promoting soluble factors. The resulting platelets circulated and accumulated in blood clots when injected into platelet-deficient mice, behaving just like normal platelets.

Although additional work is needed to ensure that the culture-derived platelets function like normal healthy platelets, these findings represent an important step toward making patient-specific clinically available.

More information: Takayama, N., et al. 2010. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20100844

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics

April 19, 2018
A new study in fat cells has revealed a molecular mechanism that controls how lifestyle choices and the external environment affect gene expression. This mechanism includes potential targets for next-generation drug discovery ...

Leptin's neural circuit identified—Genome-editing study reveals how hormone helps prevent both obesity and diabetes

April 18, 2018
Revealing surprising answers to a long-standing enigma about the brain target of the anti-obesity hormone leptin, neuroscientists at Tufts University School of Medicine have used CRISPR genome editing to identify a neural ...

Characterizing 'keyhole' is first step to fighting obesity at cellular level

April 18, 2018
An international team has uncovered the potential to beat obesity at the cellular level, characterizing for the first time a complex, little-understood receptor type that, when activated, shuts off hunger.

Why is it harder for females to gain weight?

April 18, 2018
For years, scientists have observed that when male and female mice eat the same high-fat diet, the males gain significantly more weight than the females. The reasons for this difference between sexes are not completely understood, ...

Researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

April 17, 2018
Researchers have produced stable joint cartilage from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This was made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers ...

Researchers develop new process to differentiate stem cells

April 17, 2018
Neck and back pain are debilitating and expensive: an estimated 80 percent of adults will suffer one or both at some point during their lives, racking up $86 billion in medical costs and missed work in the United States alone. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.