This patent is highly interesting in that the inventors claim to have devised a simple and easy to implement methodology for generation of autologous stem cells. Essentially, the invention teaches that culturing of peripheral blood monocytes in the presence of IL-3 and M-CSF for approximately 6 days, somehow induces a program of de-differentiation in the monocytes to endow them with stem cell like potential. The patent goes on to demonstrate that these monocytes can be converted into islets, hepatocytes, and neural cells. In vivo experiments include hepatic regeneration with monocyte derived stem cells, as well as inducing insulin independence in streptozocin-treated diabetic mice..
This patent has 9 independent claims.
The first covers a cell type that originates from the monocytic lineage, once dedifferentiated is programmable, and expresses CD14, CD90, and CD123.
The second covers essentially the same as the first with the exception that the phenotype is CD14+, CD90+ and CD135+
The third covers essentially the same thing as the first, with the exception that the antigen CD135 is added.
The forth covers a pharmaceutical composition derived from the programmable dedifferentiated cells of monocytic origin, the cell expressing the markers CD14 and CD90.
The fifth covers essentially the same as the forth with the exception that the CD123 antigen is added as a marker.
The sixth covers essentially the same as the fifth with the exception that the CD135 antigen is added as a marker.
The seventh covers essentially the same as the first except that only CD14 and CD90 are claimed as antigens.
The eighth covers the cell with CD14 and CD90, but having ability to differentiate into a cell that is selected from a group comprising of neurons, endothelial cells, adipocytes, hepatocytes, keratinocytes, and insulin-producing cells.
The ninth covers essentially the same as the eighth except the cell is able to differentiate into a cell selected from: glia cells, neurons, neuronal precursor cells, endothelial cells, adipocytes, hepatocytes, keratinocytes, and insulin-producing cells.
Dependent claims cover transfection of the cells with genes, as well as growth of the cells in liquid media.
This patent appears very promising for commercialization. Additionally, scientific replication of these experiments is bound to provide a wealth of new papers as well as novel methods of improving on this technology.
One possible combination of technologies would be to link this patent with the teachings of US patent #6897060 which teaches use of neural cells for stimulation of hematopoiesis.