Attenuated Inmate Immunity in Embryonic Stem Cells and Its Implications In Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine

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Biological Sciences


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) represent a promising cell source for regenerative medicine. Intensive research over the past 2 decades has led to the feasibility of using ESC-differentiated cells (ESC-DCs) in regenerative medicine. However, increasing evidence indicates that ESC-DCs generated by current differentiation methods may not have equivalent cellular functions to their in vivo counterparts. Recent studies have revealed that both human and mouse ESCs as well as some types of ESC-DCs lack or have attenuated innate immune responses to a wide range of infectious agents. These findings raise important concerns for their therapeutic applications since ESC-DCs, when implanted to a wound site of a patient, where they would likely be exposed to pathogens and inflammatory cytokines. Understanding whether an attenuated immune response is beneficial or harmful to the interaction between host and grafted cells becomes an important issue for ESC-based therapy. A substantial amount of recent evidence has demonstrated that the lack of innate antiviral responses is a common feature to ESCs and other types of pluripotent cells. This has led to the hypothesis that mammals may have adapted different antiviral mechanisms at different stages of organismal development. The underdeveloped innate immunity represents a unique and uncharacterized property of ESCs that may have important implications in developmental biology, immunology, and in regenerative medicine. Stem Cells 2015;33:3165–3173

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Stem Cells





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