First human stomach tissue grown in lab

US researchers generated functional, three-dimensional human stomach tissue to create miniature stomachs using pluripotent stem cells in a laboratory.

Human pluripotent stem cells can transform into any cell type in the body.

"Until this study, no one had generated gastric cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs)," said Jim Wells, principal investigator and a scientist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

"In addition, we discovered how to promote formation of three-dimensional gastric tissue with complex architecture and cellular composition," Wells added.

"This first-time molecular generation of 3D human gastric organoids (hGOs) presents new opportunities for drug discovery, modelling early stages of stomach cancer and studying some of the underpinnings of obesity related diabetes," Wells said.

Differences between species in the embryonic development and architecture of the adult stomach make mouse models less than optimal for studying human stomach development and disease, Wells pointed out.

The key to growing human gastric organoids was to identify the steps involved in normal stomach formation during embryonic development.

By manipulating these normal processes in a petri dish, the scientists were able to coax pluripotent stem cells into becoming stomach cells.

Over the course of a month, these steps resulted in the formation of 3D human gastric organoids that were about 3 mm (1/10th of an inch) in diameter.

The study appeared in the journal Nature.

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First human stomach tissue grown in lab

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