25 years of the first adult stem cell isolation

by Alexey Bersenev on July 2, 2013 · 1 comment

in hematopoietic

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On July 1 of 1988 a seminal paper by Irving Weissman lab (Stanford University) – Purification and characterization of mouse hematopoietic stem cells – was published in Science. It was the first study, where adult stem cell population was isolated and characterized in functional assay. Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) was used for the first time to isolate highly enriched hematopoietic stem cell population from mouse bone marrow.

In that study, transplantation of as few as 30 Thy-1low/Lin-/Sca-1+ rescues about 50% of lethally irradiated mice. Since 1988 a huge progress was made in purification and isolation of hematopoietic stem cells in mice and human. But Weissman group paved the way for FACS application in cell purification and set a new advanced level of stem cell research.

Unfortunately, 25 years later, the public has no access to this seminal paper! What a shame!

Please watch the latest interview with Irv Weissman:

Also check Stem Cell Assays History Channel

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Eliason July 3, 2013 at 9:49 am

Actually, it is the 29th anniversary of the first purification of the murine stem cell (Visser et al. J. Exp. Med. 159 1576, 1984: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2187316/pdf/je15961576.pdf). Prof. Weissman, perhaps because he was an immunologist rather than a stem cell biologist at the time, did not reference the prior work. This rather upset some of the people in experimental hematology at the time. I remember when my 14 year old daughter showed me a copy of Discover Magazine about the stem cell purification controversy (http://discovermagazine.com/1995/mar/themotherofallbl477#.UdQn3_mTiHo) pointing to a picture and asked, “Dad, is this the Jan Visser we know?”


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