Stem cells can stay alive for 17 days in dead bodies, says research
A new study by scientists have revealed that some of the stem cells can stay alive in dormant state for more than two weeks in a dead person and then be activated again to divide into new, functioning cells.
The research also unlocked the further knowledge about the multi-functionality of these cells that can be a source to replenish damaged tissue in future.
"Remarkably, skeletal muscle stem cells can survive for 17 days in humans and 16 days in mice post-mortem, well beyond the one to two days currently thought," the Daily Mail quoted the statement of scientists.
The researchers led by Fabrice Chretien of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, found that the stem cells maintained their ability to differentiate into perfectly functioning muscle cells even after two weeks of death.
"This discovery could form the basis of a new source, and more importantly new methods of conservation, for stem cells used to treat a number of pathologies," the researchers said.
Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types.
The latest findings have raised a new excitement among the scientists offering new hopes of rebuilding organs damaged by disease or accident.
The Pasteur Institute team also revealed that to the stem cells enter a dormant stage by using less energy in and lowering their metabolism in order to survive in adverse conditions.
The team then also observed the stem cells taken from bone marrow, where blood cells are produced.
These stem cells remained usable for four days after death in lab mice and retained their ability to reconstitute tissue after a bone marrow transplant.
"By harvesting stem cells from the bone marrow of consenting donors post mortem, doctors could address to a certain extent the shortage of tissues and cells," the team said. The investigators sounded a word of caution, though.
The approach was 'highly promising', and requires lots of testing and validation before it could be tested in humans.
The details of the research are published in the journal Nature Communication.
-With inputs from ANI.
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