London: Vitamin C, an essential nutrient for humans, could be used to overcome hurdles in creating stem cells for treating diseases, say scientists. An international team has discovered that the vitaminboosts the reprogramming of adult cells only to give them theproperties of embryonic stem cells, a finding which paves theway for creating the reprogrammed cells -- induced pluripotentstem cells (iPSCs), `The Daily Telegraph` reported. According to the scientists, IPSCs offer a solutionto the ethical problems involved in producing embryonic stemcells with the potential to become any kind of human tissue,from bone to brain.
Dr Duanqing Pei, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou, who led the research, said: "The low efficiency of the reprogramming process has hampered progress with this technology and is indicative of how little we understand it. "Further, this process is most challenging in humancells, raising a significant barrier for producing iPSCs andserious concerns about quality of cells that are generated.Our results highlight a simple way to improve iPSC generationand provide additional insight into the mechanistic basis ofreprogramming. "It is also of interest that a vitamin withlong-suspected anti-ageing effects has such a potent influenceon reprogramming, which can be considered a reversal of theageing process at the cellular level. It is likely that ourwork may stimulate further research in this area as well." The findings have been published in the latest editionof the `Cell Stem Cell` journal. PTI
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