Research Highlights: Scientists Mixed Human Cells with Monkey Cells to Create Chimeric Embryos

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Early stage chimeric embryo from different species origins. Image source: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(21)00305-6

Scientists Mixed Human Cells with Monkey Cells to Create Chimeric Embryos

  • Human stem cells introduced to cells from other species may be a necessary alternative to assess its ability to differentiate inside a living organism.
  • This process might establish a promising technique for various regenerative medicine applications which includes generating organs and tissues for transplantation.
  • In mouse and pig embryonic studies, human pluripotent stem cells do not strongly contribute to chimera formation in species that are distant from humans.
  • Chimera is an individual organism or molecule derived from 2 or more species.[1]
  • This research studied the chimeric formation of human stem cells when introduced into monkey embryos.
  • The study comprised researchers from Gene Expression Laboratory in California, State Key Laboratory of Primate Biomedical Research in China, and Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia in Spain.
  • Researchers discovered that the human stem cells were able to survive, proliferate, and generate implantation cell lineages inside the monkey embryos.
  • Researchers also discovered that the human stem cells and monkey embryonic cells seem to communicate with each other that can lead to the unique development of chimeric embryos.
  • The findings may help our understanding of human development and primate evolution and develop techniques to improve human chimerism in evolutionarily distant species.

Sources:

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(21)00305-6

[1] https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/chimera

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