Fall & Winter 2014 Stem Cell Research Update| Bedford Stem …

In the body, the daily pattern of light and dark controls many signals sent out by the brain, such as those that trigger changes in body temperature, and feelings of hunger and sleepiness.

Stem cells may especially need circadian signals to differentiate into specific cell types, such as neurons or bone marrow but what type of signal should they receive in the laboratory? And what frequency? There is growing evidence that each type of cell needs a different circadian signal.

To answer this question, Bedford Research scientists have taken advantage of a genetically engineered mouse that has the firefly glow gene (Luciferase) attached to one of the circadian rhythm genes (the Period 2 gene). Tissues in this PerLuc mouse glow when Period 2 is active.

Until this fall, Bedford Research scientists have been unable to discover the circadian signal needs of their two new lines of stem cells from the PerLuc mouse because of the lack of a microscope sensitive enough to detect and photograph the glow of a small number of cells.

The good news is that such a microscope has been developed, and this year became available in the U.S. The bad news is that the system costs $160,000 and is not yet available anywhere on the east coast.

Olympus loaned Bedford Research scientists a demonstration LV200 for a couple of weeks this fall during which we discovered that our PerLuc stem cells do, indeed glow (Figure 1), and that the glow actually begins soon after egg activation, and increases with the transition into stem cells (Figure 2).

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Fall & Winter 2014 Stem Cell Research Update| Bedford Stem ...

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