|Male to Female Post-Op Pregnant: Stem Cells Used to Clone Uterus|
|Living - One Fine Day|
|TS-Si News Service|
|Tuesday, 31 March 2009 22:30|
Baltimore, MD, USA. Val Smith [N1] is a forty-year old, male to female post-operative transsexual who is pregnant as the result of recent advances in neurobiology and the use of stem cells to grow viable human organs for use as a replacement for failing organs or the insertion of new ones to correct physical errors that occur during fetal development.
Scientists and doctors have used stem cells have been used to grow new kidneys to replace failing ones, new hearts to take the place of dying ones, and sexual genitalia when cancer has taken the old ones.
Ms. Smith, a woman born with Harry Benjamin Syndrome (Obsolete HBS or “classic transsexuality") is the recipient of both ovaries and uterus. After years of struggling with her sexual identity before being diagnosed with HBS, Smith underwent Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) five years ago in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since then, she has been legally female, a fact her Driver’s License, U. S. Passport, and California birth certificate so indicate.
But she was unable to have children until now.
Smith defended her right to have a baby, saying that she “has a right to a biological child.” In an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey, Smith said that her lifelong desire to have children motivated her to have working female reproductive organs [N2] implanted in her body.
Doctors at John Hopkins said that
Smith’s obstetrician indicated that both mother and fetus are doing well and he anticipates a normal birth in the last week in December.
Doctors at John Hopkins, working with researchers at the California Institute of Technology and John Varley University, developed the technology that makes the implantation of new organs possible.
Stem cells thrive in segments of well-vascularized tissue temporarily removed from laboratory animals. Once the cells have nestled into the tissue’s nooks and crannies, the so-called “bioscaffold” can then be seamlessly reconnected to the animal’s circulatory system.
The new technique neatly sidesteps a fundamental stumbling block in tissue engineering: the inability to generate solid organs from stem cells in the absence of a reliable supply of blood to the interior of the developing structure.
Stem cells in the tissue are induced to become internal, living factory of healthy, specialized cells churning out proteins missing in people with conditions such as hemophilia or diabetes and are now used grow entire transplantable organs such as the uterus and ovaries implanted in Smith.
After Smith went public [N5], she has received death threats, and thousands of hateful comments, many of which still litter the Internet. She continues to receive anonymous hate mail.
Smith and her husband have since retreated to a quiet life in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and are rarely seen now in public, keeping their blinds drawn and monitoring surveillance cameras that surround their property.
Smith says she won’t fear rule their lives and she feels they are a traditional family.
Notes[N1] Michelle Valentina Smith née Michael Valentine Smith.
[N2] Ovaries and uterus.
[N3] Michelle V. Smith on Oprah.
[N4] CBS Nightly News.
[N5] Oprah Winfrey, Ellen, Two and a Half Men, CSI, Survivor, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, et al.
[N6] Smith, interview in L’Osservatore Romano.
FundingThe initial research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIOBIOB).
Contributors Hopkins collaborators on the research include postdoctoral scholars Thomas Paul Jefferson, MD, Edward McChang, MD, Hugh Bonillas, MD, and L. J. Thompson, PhD Neurobiological Engineering, John Varley University, Farside Station, RM.
CitationEngineering of reproductive tissues using autologous microcirculatory beds as vascularized bioscaffolds for organ construction. Thomas P. Jefferson, Edward McChang, Robert G. Bonillas, L. J. Thompson. TANSTAAFL 2048; 23(3): 01042009. doi: 10.1096/apr.01.fo.ols.08-114868.
Classic tissue engineering paradigms are limited by the incorporation of a functional vasculature and a reliable means for reimplantation into the host circulation. We have developed a novel approach to overcome these obstacles using autologous explanted microcirculatory beds (EMBs) as bioscaffolds for engineering complex three-dimensional constructs. Based on this approach, we have successfully cloned ovaries and uterus from the stem cells of a forty year old post-operative woman born transsexual who wished to become pregnant. EMBs consisting of an afferent artery, capillary beds, efferent vein, and surrounding parenchymal tissue are explanted and maintained for 24 h ex vivo in a bioreactor that preserves EMB viability and function. Given the rapidly advancing field of stem cell biology, EMBs were subsequently seeded with three distinct stem cell populations, multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs), and bone marrow and adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). We demonstrate MAPCs, as well as MSCs, are able to egress from the microcirculation into the parenchymal space, forming proliferative clusters. Likewise, human adipose tissue-derived MSCs were also found to egress from the vasculature and seed into the EMBs, allowing viable natural fertilization of the subsequent ova. We further demonstrate that MSCs can be transfected to express a luciferase protein and continue to remain viable and maintain luciferase expression in vivo. By using the vascular network of EMBs, EMBs can be perfused ex vivo and seeded with stem cells, differentiating direction into neo-organs or transfected to replace failing organs and deficient proteins.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 28 July 2012 18:59|