April 06, 2010 03:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Celprogen De-Differentiates Human Induced Pluripotent Cells (iPCs) Into
Germ Progenitor Cells
Discovery May Lead to New Treatments for Infertility
SAN PEDRO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time, Celprogen researchers
have de-differentiated human somatic fibroblasts into cells that eventually become eggs
and sperm, possibly opening the door for new treatments for infertility using patient-
Infertility affects about 20 percent of Americans. Current treatments include donor eggs
and sperm and surrogacy. If germ cells can be derived from patients' own adult cells
using de-differentiation followed by germ cell differentiation, this adds an important
strategy available to treat infertility.
The iPCs were de-differentiated with non-viral methods into forming germ line precursor
cells which include genetic material that may be passed on to a child. This finding could
be important for people who are rendered infertile through disease or injury. We may,
one day, be able to replace the germ cells that are lost, and these germ cells would be
specific and genetically related to that patient.
Theoretically, an infertile patient's skin cells, for example, could be taken and de-
differentiated into iPCs, which, like progenitor cells, have the ability to become a specific
cell type in the human body. Those cells could then be transformed into germ line
precursor cells that would eventually become eggs and sperm.
When germ cells are formed, they need to undergo specific series of biological
processes, an essential one being the regulation of genes. This is required for the germ
cells to function correctly. If these processes are not performed, the resulting eggs or
sperm are at high risk for not working as they should. This has significant
consequences, given that the desired outcome is a healthy child.
Further research is needed to determine if germ cells derived from iPCs have the ability
to correctly regulate themselves like the cells derived from normal human embryonic
About Celprogen Inc.
Celprogen Inc. is a global Stem Cell Research & Therapeutics company which is
developing a proprietary portfolio of unique cancer therapeutics products and life
science research tools that includes stem cell technologies for regenerative medicine,
as well as bio-engineering products for tissue & organ transplants. Headquartered in
San Pedro, California, Celprogen is committed to the research, development, and
manufacture of quality Stem Cell, Cancer Stem Cell and Primary Cell Culture products
to serve our global community. Additional information about Celprogen is available at
Chief Executive Officer, Global Business Development