KANSAI Close-up

Creating cartilage cells from human skin without using iPS cells―Kyoto University

 Professor Noriyuki Tsumaki and his research team at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University have succeeded for the first time in the world in creating cartilage cells directly from human skin cells without using iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells). These cartilage cells are expected to be used for reproducing articular cartilage which has been lost due to injury or aging. This achievement was announced in the online edition of the U.S. scientific journal PLOS ONE.
 Two weeks after culturing a mix of two types of genes used to create iPS cells and genes necessary for the development of cartilage cells and human skin cells, the team confirmed that the solution changed into cartilage cells. According to the team, after transplanting these cartilage cells in a mouse, the mouse actually began to develop its own cartilage cells, and no tumor was found at least three months after the transplantation.
 This method can efficiently create cartilage cells in about half the time needed for a process via iPS cells.
 The professor said, “This method can be expected to be used as regenerative medicine for conditions that develop due to abnormality in cartilage, and in the future may help realize treatment where cartilage is created directly in the human body.
Cells with characteristics of cartilage
cells created from human skin cells
= Photo provided by Professor Tsumaki
Professor Noriyuki Tsumaki
Contact : Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, International Public Communications Office
Phone or E-mail +81-75-366-7005
Website http://www.cira.kyoto-u.ac.jp/e/index.html