Organoids – functional tissue cultures of organs – allow researchers to observe the behavior of cells and tissues in vitro, in the laboratory. This is especially useful when studying the brain and the conditions that affect it. But what are some practical challenges? One of the biggest advances in the past decade has been the ability to make adult stem cells differentiate into certain cell types.
After fertilization, the cells that make up the embryo are very powerful and can change into any type of cell that the body needs to develop into a full human. “Embryonic cells in the first two cell divisions after fertilization are the only viable cells,” explains New York State Stem Cell Science.
This property decreases during development and as a person grows, but the body retains some cells throughout its life. Adults have stem cells in their bone marrow, which allows them to make more types of blood cells. This is known as multipotency Trusted Source, which is crucial in allowing the immune system to mount a response to disease, for example. Although they are capable of differentiating into different cell types, multipotent stem cells cannot differentiate into the different types of cells that make up the adult body.
Stem Cell Research and Organ Models
Being able to control the fate of stem cells has allowed researchers to study the details of how our cells work in the laboratory, and to argue in a more accurate and useful way what can be done in ‘human or animal form. Much research has been done on how to change one type of cell into another, and so on. Now, blood and skin cells can be taken from a person and exposed to certain chemicals and media that allow them to regain their vitality, the ability to grow into any type of cell.
Called induced pluripotent stem cells, researchers are pursuing two current projects using this method. They created an embryo model using fibroblasts, a type of cell found, for example, in the skin. Newly developed embryo models have allowed researchers to observe the beginnings of organogenesis in the laboratory.
Organoids are especially useful when they can be used to create organs or tissues that cannot be easily reproduced in any other way. The brain is an example of a very dangerous and difficult biopsy compared to the skin, for example. Read: Despite Suggestions That Sizewell C Nuclear Power Facility May Be Abandoned, the Government Supports It
Another line of work deals with the production of organoids called organoids. These materials allow scientists to study how certain types of cells work and can even be used to model whole body parts.
In fact, the first brain organoid was derived from pluripotent stem cells from a patient with microcephaly, where the brain shrinks. Researchers and Dr. Collaborator Madeline Lancaster used this model to determine that premature neuronal differentiation was the cause of the brain shrinkage they observed in the patient, and published her results in NatureTrusted Source.
This research shows for the first time that brain cells can be created from induced pluripotent stem cells and can provide insight into brain function and disease-causing processes.
Since these first organoids were created, the complexity of the brain organoids created and the information received from them has increased. The researchers were able to see that the induced pluripotent stem cells could organize themselves into similar structures in animals and humans. Brain organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells are allowed to mature for 60 days to form optic cupules, or indentations where eyes will develop, a paper published in Cell Stem Cell explained last year.
Similarly, a study published in NatureTrusted Source last year showed cellular changes in cortical organoids after 250-300 days in vitro (about 9 months), which mimic those seen in children new. The ability to make the fetal brain develop in the laboratory has also provided greater insight into the effects of various drugs on brain development in utero.
The dangers of sodium valproate is a global scandal that has seen pregnant women with epilepsy given the drug to treat it cause severe learning problems in their children who were exposed to the drug in the womb. Recently, a study published in PLOS Biology used organoids from human cells to show that the drug caused the aging and death of neuroepithelial cells in the brain, explaining some of the symptoms that body and children involved.
One of the limitations of using organoids for research is that it is observed in vitro. The same organ may act in a system, in relation to different organs, or when it is exposed to metabolites in the blood, for example, may be different from how it acts when isolated cells in a tissue. Recently, researchers implanted organoids from human cells into rat brains, in a study reported in NatureTrusted Source.
Using neural organoids capable of self-organization, these are implanted into the somatosensory cortex – located in the center of the brain – of newborn rats. The scientists found that 토토사이트 these cortical organoids produced axons throughout the rat’s brain and could be involved in reward-seeking behavior in rats.
The breakthrough suggested that cells created in the laboratory are recognized by other tissues and can affect systems. Combining animal and human cells is not without principles. In fact, this is the subject of recent work. The Brainstorm Organoid Project published its first report as a summary explaining the value of the work in Nature NeuroscienceTrusted Source on October 18, 2022, the week following the publication of the said study.
This work brought together leading experts in life sciences under the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative of the US National Institutes of Health, which supported the work. Commentary author, Dr. Jeantine E Lunshof, director of collaborative ethics at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, MA, told Medical News Today in an interview that the current guidelines for biomedical research and animal welfare are already given. procedures for the type of work to be done correctly.
Referring to the International Society for Stem Cell Research guidelines published last year, he said that these cover the creation of chimeras, where cells from two species are combined. These hybrids are accepted with non-primates, he explained: “This puts a strong emphasis on animal welfare in this ISSCR manual which is in line with the current animal welfare and research process animals.”
The potential benefits of this research should be considered, “although we are currently at a stage where more basic research is needed. I think it needs to be emphasized,” he said.
On the same day the aforementioned article was published, another article described how the researchers “taught” nerve cells created using human induced pluripotent stem cells to play. Pong video game.
This highlights the importance of closed-loop programmed feedback for learning in the human brain, the authors emphasized. They also said that it showed that neurons can organize themselves and express consciousness.
Dr. Brett Kagan, the scientific director of the company Cortical Labs, which invented the DishBrain system used to train cortical neurons, told MNT in an interview that there are indeed ethical considerations surrounding the experiments they conducted, but they are not different more. who are required for thousands of other experiments taking place around the world:
“We are very clear in the paper that sentience is not consciousness […] it’s weird that people struggle with some cells in a dish. They are certainly less complicated than a fly or a bee.”Dr. Brett Kagan
When Professor Muotri was asked whether the neurons being tested by Cortical Labs were unknown, he said: “It’s hard to know for sure. However, there are tests people can do to see if they react in the same way as a conscious brain. For example, you can turn them on and see if the brain waves disappear.
He also believes that if intelligent organoids are to be created, it is necessary to organize them. “As well as research animals, we need to have a protocol for developing conscious organoids,” he suggested.
The next step for the cortical laboratory is to test how brain organoids work when alcohol is consumed and whether they will be able to learn under the influence. However, there is a more important plan of Dr. Kagan, which is that the DishBrain system can be used as an information processing system.
“It is worth considering, at least from our perspective, that you don’t need to think about these neurons, brain cells, as only related to human biology and physiology but you can see them as being a very powerful information processing system.”Dr. Brett Kagan
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