UCLA Scientists Find Older, Established Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Are Not the Same as Newly Derived Cell Lines

The Finding Points to the Importance of Continuing to Derive and Study Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

Established human embryonic cell lines, including those approved for federal research funding under former President George W. Bush, are different than newly derived human embryonic stem cell lines, according to a study by UCLA stem cell researchers.

The finding, by scientists with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, points to the importance of continuing to derive new stem cell lines so researchers can better understand pluripotency, the ability of these cells to make every cell in the human body, said study senior author Amander Clark, an assistant professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology in Life Sciences.

“It is critical to find out the characteristics that result in the highest quality pluripotent stem cell lines that we can make,” Clark said. “It is possible that we have not set the bar high enough yet for embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells. We now know that established lines are different from newly derived lines and now we have to find out how important that is.”

The study appears Nov. 30, 2011 in the early online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Human Molecular Genetics.