Human Embryonic Stem Cells Trigger Immune Reaction in Mice

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that human embryonic stem cells trigger an immune response much like organ rejection when transplanted into mice. In the past, researchers had thought that transplanted embryonic stem cells might not be rejected the way transplanted organs are. Testing this theory, the team found that after transplanting human embryonic stem cells into normal mice, those cells disappeared within seven to ten days. In mice without an immune system the cells survived and even multiplied. Drugs used to prevent organ rejection also successfully prevented normal mice from rejecting the transplanted stem cells. These results suggest that any therapy involving transplanted embryonic stem cells will also require a way of preventing people from rejecting those therapeutic cells.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: September 2, 2008
CIRM funding: Joseph Wu (RS1-00322)

Related Information: Press Release, Stanford Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Institute, Wu bio