New protocol developed to decontaminate human fetal tissues used for cell transplantation

July 22, 2013, Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair

The use of central nervous system fetal tissues derived from routine elective abortions to provide stem cells for transplantation procedures aimed at restoring damage done by neurodegenerative diseases is an established therapy. However, fetal tissue microbial contaminants have been known to cause brain infections in cell transplantation recipients. Now, a research team from Germany has developed a "washing" technique that decontaminates the fetal tissues from which stem cells are derived.

The study appears as an early e-publication for the journal Cell Transplantation.

"Fetal transplantation has become a potential treatment option for patients suffering from such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD)," explained study co-author Dr. Guido Nikkah of the Department of Neurosurgery, Erlangen University Clinic, Erlangen, Germany. "However, in Europe neural transplantation of fetal tissue must be performed in accordance with guidelines on "Good Manufacturing Processes," which means that aspects of microbiological safety have to be investigated in detail."

According to the researchers, aborted fetal human tissues carry the risk of from the abortion process and this is the contributing factor to the subsequent risk of infection to cell recipients. The researchers noted that prior to their study it was not clear whether fetal tissue contamination, or subsequent surgical contamination during cell transplantation normally had the greatest impact as potential contributing factors to microbial infection in hosts.

Their study revealed a wide range of in fetal tissues that could cause infections. 47.7 % of the fetal tissues they sampled were positive for microbial infection. They also found that the risk of bacterial infection was higher than the risk of fungal infection.

To prevent in hosts, the researchers developed and tested a microbial "washing" technique. In laboratory tests using rats as transplantation hosts, the technique has been shown to eliminate microbial contamination. Based on the technique's success in decontaminating fetal tissue cells transplanted into laboratory animals, the washing technique was subsequently used in clinical practice.

"To date, more than 350 PD and approximately 100 HD patients have received primary fetal grafts, and so far no contamination has been reported," said Dr. Nikkah.

The researchers noted that although the risk of infection is very low after their procedure, they still recommend antibiotic prophylaxis.

"Detection of a relevant microbial contamination within the narrow time-window prior to transplantation remains difficult," concluded the authors. "While contamination of the transportation fluid is not an exclusion criterion for tissue transplantation, detection of contamination after washing steps is critical."

"The potentially deleterious impact of microbial contamination on the use of cells or tissues for transplantation is an important health factor that cannot be ignored." said Dr. Shinn-Zong Lin, professor of Neurosurgery and superintendent at the China Medical University Hospital, Beigang, Taiwan. "Procedures to reduce the likelihood of contamination such as that described within this paper are therefore of great importance."

Explore further: Type 2 diabetes patients transplanted with own bone marrow stem cells reduces insulin use

More information: www.ingentaconnect.com/content … -prints/ct1020piroth

Related Stories

Type 2 diabetes patients transplanted with own bone marrow stem cells reduces insulin use

June 28, 2013
A study carried out in India examining the safety and efficacy of self-donated (autologous), transplanted bone marrow stem cells in patients with type 2 diabetes (TD2M), has found that patients receiving the transplants, ...

Injecting iron supplement lets scientists track transplanted stem cells

July 12, 2013
A new, noninvasive technique for tracking stem cells after transplantation—developed by a cross-disciplinary team of radiologists, chemists, statisticians and materials scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine—could ...

Third-party blood stem cell transplantation as a factor to impact on poor graft function

March 18, 2013
When a research team in China evaluated the efficacy and safety of using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) expanded from the bone marrow of non-self-donors to treat patients experiencing poor graft function (PGF) after receiving ...

Study finds 'Western diet' detrimental to fetal hippocampal tissue transplants

April 23, 2012
Researchers interested in determining the direct effects of a high saturated fat and high cholesterol (HFHC) diet on implanted fetal hippocampal tissues have found that in middle-aged laboratory rats the HFHC diet elevated ...

Recommended for you

More surprises about blood development—and a possible lead for making lymphocytes

January 22, 2018
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have long been regarded as the granddaddy of all blood cells. After we are born, these multipotent cells give rise to all our cell lineages: lymphoid, myeloid and erythroid cells. Hematologists ...

How metal scaffolds enhance the bone healing process

January 22, 2018
A new study shows how mechanically optimized constructs known as titanium-mesh scaffolds can optimize bone regeneration. The induction of bone regeneration is of importance when treating large bone defects. As demonstrated ...

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

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.