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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFemale Reproductive SystemFertilizationThe Appearance of SomitesFirst TrimesterSecond TrimesterThird TrimesterFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterDevelopmental Timeline
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October 1, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts


The human lymphatic system/Image: Wikipedia

Dr. Lagasse: “Our goal is not necessarily to replace the entire liver ... but to provide
sufficient cell mass to stabilize ... and sustain the patient’s life. [To either]... buy time
until a donor organ can be transplanted ... [or] allow the diseased organ to recover.”

WHO Child Growth Charts

       

Liver Cells, Insulin-Producing Cells, Thymus Cells, Can All Be Grown in Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes can provide a suitable home for a variety of cells and tissues from other organs, suggesting that a cell-based alternative to whole organ transplantation might one day be feasible


A research team showed for the first time that
liver cells, thymus tissue and insulin-producing
pancreatic islet cells, in an animal model,
can thrive in lymph nodes despite
being displaced from their natural sites.


The research was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and its McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and recently published online in Nature Biotechnology.

Hepatitis virus infection, alcoholic cirrhosis and other diseases can cause so much damage that liver transplantation is the only way to save the patient, noted senior investigator Eric Lagasse, Pharm. D., Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pathology, Pitt School of Medicine.

Children with DiGeorge syndrome lack functional thymus glands to produce essential immune cells, and diabetes can be cured with a pancreas transplant.

“However, the scarcity of donor organs means many people will not survive the wait for transplantation,” said Dr. Lagasse, whose lab is at the McGowan Institute. “Cell therapies are being explored, but introducing cells into tissue already ravaged by disease decreases the likelihood of successful engraftment and restoration of function.”


In the study, the team tested the possibility of using
lymph nodes, which are abundant throughout
the body and have a rich blood supply,
as a new home for cells from other organs
in what is called an “ectopic” transplant.


They injected healthy liver cells from a genetically-identical donor animal into lymph nodes of mice at various locations.

The result was an enlarged, liver-like node that functioned akin to the liver; in fact, a single hepatized lymph node rescued mice that were in danger of dying from a lethal metabolic liver disease.

Likewise, thymus tissue transplanted into the lymph node of mice that lacked the organ generated functional immune systems, and pancreatic islet cell transplants restored normal blood sugar control in diabetic animals.

Dr. Lagasse: “Our goal is not necessarily to replace the entire liver, for example, but to provide sufficient cell mass to stabilize liver function and sustain the patient’s life. That could buy time until a donor organ can be transplanted. Perhaps, in some cases, ectopic cell transplantation in the lymph node might allow the diseased organ to recover.”

Co-authors of the paper include Junji Komori, M.D., Ph.D., Lindsey Boone, Ph.D., and Aaron DeWard, Ph.D., all of Pitt’s Department of Pathology and the McGowan Institute, and Toshitaka Hoppo, M.D., Ph.D., of the McGowan Institute.

The project was funded by National Institutes of Health grants P30CA047904 (through the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute) and R01 DK085711.

Original article: http://www.upmc.com/media/NewsReleases/2012/Pages/Cells-Tissue-Grown-in-Lymph-Nodes.aspx