Japanese newborn to receive the world’s first liver stem cell

Stem cell research is an advanced branch of science that hopes for promising and budding treatment in the future. It is quite complicated and controversial even for the scientist, due to the unstructured multiplication of cells. We know that the stem cells are specialized, undifferentiated precursor cells capable of self proliferation and differentiation. It can develop into any type of cell in the body, including muscle cells and even brain cells.

Usually, these stem cells are extracted from the inner cell of a blastocyst in a fertilized egg and so named Embryonic Stem cell. This process of extraction is generally tedious, and most importantly, it causes ethical issues due to embryo destruction.

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A blessed newborn in Japan

A six-day-old infant in Japan was suffering from urea cycle disorder in which the liver is not able to breakdown ammonia, a toxic compound, in the blood. Doctors suggested that liver transplant was not advisable for the baby considering the age. It was recommended only for babies who are about 3 to 5 months old weighing around six kilograms(13 pounds). As to find a temporary solution, Doctors at the National Center for Child Health and Development planned to attempt a bridge treatment until the baby attains a particular age. They injected 190 million liver cells, which were derived from embryonic stem cells into the blood vessels of the newborn’s liver.

On examining the baby’s blood after treatment, they didn’t notice any abnormally elevated level of ammonia and this claimed to be a successful therapy for the first time in the world. The baby later underwent a liver transplant successfully from its father and was discharged after six months from the hospital. The institute said that the success of this trial demonstrates safety in the world’s first clinical trial using human ES cells for patients with liver disease.

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The future of stem cell research

The research about the stem cell could be used in the upcoming days for many infants who require organ transplants in the initial stage without any intervention. These transplants rely mainly on donors because looking for the embryonic cell has been unscrupulous and unethical. Liver cells can be taken from brain dead patients and also people who are interested in donating liver cells. By this stem cell approach, we can prevent many genetic or acquired diseases and provide a long-lasting healthy life.

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Source: MedicalXpress

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