Testicles from newborn mice have yielded stem cells that could rival those from embryos in their treatment potential.
Japanese researchers led by Takashi Shinohara from Kyoto University report that they have established a line of potent cells from neonatal mouse testes using a special cell culturing method.
The cells resemble embryonic stem cells in their ability to generate many types of specialized cells. They have molecular markers in common with embryonic stem cells and can transform into blood-forming cells, vascular cells and beating heart muscle cells.
“Thus, the capacity to form multipotent cells persists in neonatal testis,” the researchers write. “The ability to derive multipotential stem cells from the neonatal testis has important implications for germ cell biology and opens the possibility of using these cells for biotechnology and medicine.”