Researchers put mouse embryos in suspended animation

Researchers put mouse embryos in suspended animation

UC San Francisco researchers have discovered a way to pause the advancement of early mouse embryos for approximately a month in the lab, a finding with potential ramifications for assisted reproduction, regenerative medicine, aging, as well as cancer, the authors say. The brand-new study – released online in Nature – included experiments with pre-implantation mouse embryos, called blastocysts. The scientists discovered that drugs that inhibit the activity a master regulator of cell development called mTOR can put these early embryos into a stable and reversible state of suspended animation. “Usually, blastocysts just last a day or more, max, in the lab. But blastocysts treated with mTOR inhibitors might survive up to 4 weeks,” said the study’s lead author, Aydan Bulut-Karslioglu, PhD, a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of senior author Miguel Ramalho-Santos, PhD, who is an associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF. Bulut-Karslioglu and colleagues showed that stopped briefly embryos could quickly resume normal development when mTOR inhibiters were gotten rid of, and developed into healthy mice if implanted back into a recipient mother. The discovery was a surprise to the researchers, who had …
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