Innovation

Here’s The Reason Why Scientists Are Growing Human Cells In Mouse Embryo

Scientists have placed more mature human cells in mouse embryos. The progress is expected to help the medical community improve the development of treatments, including those for COVID-19.

Over the past decades, scientists faced challenges in producing enough amounts of human cells in animals. It is important to grow human cells in other living organisms in the lab since cells made in a petri dish commonly do not behave like those in the body, Futurity reported.

“This is fundamental research that allows us to use the mouse embryo to help us better understand human development,” Jian Feng, corresponding study author and a professor in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, said in a statement. 

He added that the study, described in the journal Science Advances, marks the first time that “so many mature human cells” were generated in a mouse embryo. The new approach provided millions of mature human cells and took only 17 days to produce such amounts in the lab. 

Researchers tested the approach with a mouse blastocyst, a three-day-old embryo. It involved injecting human stem cells into the animal and converting the cells to become compatible with the inner cell mass inside a mouse embryo.

Putting the human stem cells into the naive state allowed them to co-develop with the cells in the mouse. The process then helped the embryo produce millions of mature human cells, including red blood cells, eye cells and liver cells.

Feng said having higher amounts of human cells may help improve how scientists understand human development and disease. It provides a better mouse model to study health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney failure and even COVID-19. 

“Further development of our technology could enable the generation of even larger quantities of specific types of mature human cells to allow us to create more effective mouse models to study diseases that gravely affect humans,” the researcher said.

Improving the approach may also eventually allow scientists to produce more mature human red blood cells in mice. That would help explore health problems and disease that mainly affect red blood cells.

Mice Scientists at the University at Buffalo used a new method that helped them produce millions of mature human cells in a mouse embryo, a progress that may help improve study of common diseases, like diabetes, malaria and COVID-19. Pixabay

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