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The World in Medicine
December 15, 2010

Blood Progenitors From Skin

JAMA. 2010;304(23):2582. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1802

Investigators from McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, have converted human fibroblasts directly into blood progenitors for the first time without first reverting them to a stem cell state (Szabo E et al. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature09591 [published online ahead of print November 7, 2010]). Key to the process was the expression of OCT4 transcription factors together with a specific cytokine treatment. This combination was able to coax human dermal fibroblasts directly into progenitors that can give rise to a full range of mature blood cells, including cells of granulocytic, monocytic, megakaryocytic, and erythroid lineages.