by Massimiliano Fanni Canelles
All humans, but also any living, originates and develops from a single cell. It is clear that the cell and their daughters must have intrinsically the information and the skills necessary to duplicate and transform, rather specialize, in all the different cells and tissues that characterize the adult organism. These are the stem cells, called “totipotenti”, not specialized, insensitive to the aging process, with infinite replicative potential.
Cells and then characterized by a high capacity to generate and then to regenerate tissues. But also cells with characteristics of autonomy and freedom of similar action to the cells tumor. During the growth of the embryo these cells give rise to the various organs, moving in the correct position, maintain legible also the brief to the function that for them was predetermine, “they forgot” progressively everything that they do not compete and they begin to become old: are transformed into somatic cells that characterize the adult organism.
It is clear therefore that the ability to use, control and direct the stem own cells or other individuals can be a major therapeutic opportunity in degenerative diseases, like genetic ones, but also in all those characterized by cell death such as stroke and heart attack. It’s the new frontier of medicine that, having achieved great results with the drugs’ chemical ‘and a little’ less with those “organic”, now has available the possibility of growing cells that can reproduce the physiological mechanisms of the organism, modulate the immune response, repair tissue damage and develop into tissues of other individuals without the risk of rejection. But to achieve this goal we must overcome many obstacles. The most effective results could be obtained from cells “pluri potent”, able to turn into any tissue we want.
To do this we should use embryonic cells with the serious ethical implications of the need to withdraw from a human embryo, but especially without having the complete ability to control their development and ability direction. Our knowledge on the phases of working, reading, transcription of the genetic cell is indeed still a long way to the real understanding of the steps. The risk is real and provable, as said intrinsic to the embryonic stem cells is therefore to enter without proper control and to stimulate the birth of malignancy in the individual recipient.
In the adult organism we can find cells with characteristics multi power called adult stem. They can be collect especially from the umbilical cord from the bone marrow and from the physical fat. These cells have characteristics of transportation and differentiation much less those embryonic cells, they can specialize in a limited number of tissues, often similar to those in which they were taken. They are also in part sensibility to the aging process, but they have characteristics less close to the tumor cell and then and therefore are used with a more acceptable risk. The scientists then decided to turn these adult stem cells by increasing transforming ability.
These could be done with the manipulation of certain genes that have allowed the regression to a stage of pluri potency thus obtaining adult somatic cells that genetically reprogrammed adult somatic cells, embryonic-like (IPS). In the future is desirable that the “cell therapy” and most of all with the stem adult can take in relief in the stages, researcher and experimentation and in this sense, the legislator and the Italian and European legislation provide for this feasibility. Because the medical science can progress it is necessary to maintain in given therapeutic use that has been proven to be effective to prevent, in addition to brain drain abroad, including those of patients.
Translated by Martina Delser