Genetic Engineering May Help Prevent Immune Action on Stem Cells

Doctors prescribe immunosuppressants to prevent body’s reaction against stem cells after a transplant. But, scientists believe that they could make these stem cells invisible to the immune system using genetic engineering. They have developed pluripotent stem cells using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system. As a result, their functions are invisible to the immune system, thus helping the body to stop rejecting stem cell transplant.

The newly generated universal stem cells work efficiently than earlier manufactured personalized stem cells. The study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology on 18 February states that universal stem cell can work effectively. Tobias Deuse, the lead author of the study says that scientists often claim the potential of stem cells. Stems cells can mature and combine with any adult tissue, but the immune system doesn’t accept foreign cells easily.

Existing iPSC Technique Inefficient and Expensive

The immune system saves the body from any foreign material, which helps to protect the body from numerous infections. However, this strength of body turns in to challenge as the body rejects the transplanted organ, tissue, or cells. This is “histocompatibility mismatched’ in medical terms.
Earlier, the scientist found a solution to solve this problem by the introducing pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The fully matured cells help to manufacture these universal stem cells by collecting cells from the body parts and skin. These programmed stem cells allow the development of myriad cells that involves body tissues.

In routine practice, the clinical use of iPSCs is difficult as the body is unreceptive to unprogrammed cells. In addition, the process is expensive and time-consuming to get benefit from stem cell therapy.

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