Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Neural Crest Plasticity

Funding Type: 
SEED Grant
Grant Number: 
RS1-00334
Investigator: 
ICOC Funds Committed: 
$0
oldStatus: 
Closed
Public Abstract: 
Craniofacial anomalies and bone defects pose a difficult and challenging problem both for the doctor and for patients along with their families. A great demand exists for the repair of craniofacial bone defects. Orofacial defects repaired with grafts obtained from an orofacial donor site are usually more successful than those from non-orofacial sites. However, the efficacy is limited by high cost, donor morbidity, and scarcity of orofacial tissue sources. Some skeletal diseases such as cherubism, hyperparathyroid jaw tumor syndrome and craniofacial fibrous dysplasia affect only orofacial bones. Studies of the craniofacial skeleton also indicate that molecular mechanisms controlling skeletogenesis in the head are unique and distinctive from those occurring in other body sites. Neural crest cells are multipotent stem cells that contribute to a diverse array of tissues throughout the embryo. During craniofacial development, cranial neural crest contributes extensively to the formation of mesenchymal structures in the head and neck, such as orofacial bone, cartilage, tooth and cranial nerve ganglia. The majority of orofacial skeleton is neural crest derived. In this application, we propose to derive cranial neural crest-like progenitor cells from human embryonic stem cells and subsequently induce bone formation by these cranial neural crest-like cells. Bone tissues generated from cranial neural crest-like cells share similar developmental origin with craniofacial bones, thereby representing a superior therapeutic tissue source for craniofacial bone repair. The results from this proposal will be used to optimize strategies for maintenance of stem cell populations while improving our ability to stimulate the development of cell specific lineages needed for the repair and regeneration of defects in craniofacial tissues.
Statement of Benefit to California: 
Craniofacial anomalies and bone defects pose a difficult and challenging problem both for the doctor and for patients along with their families. A great demand exists for the repair of craniofacial bone defects. Orofacial defects repaired with grafts obtained from an orofacial donor site are usually more successful than those from non-orofacial sites. However, the efficacy is limited by high cost, donor morbidity, and scarcity of orofacial tissue sources. This proposal will benefit the people and the state of California by deriving cranial neural crest-like progenitor cells from human embryonic stem cells. Bone tissues generated from cranial neural crest-like cells share similar developmental origin with craniofacial bones, thereby representing a superior therapeutic tissue source for craniofacial bone repair.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine