Ann Conkle
Apr 26, 2012

New embryonic stem cell line will aid research on nerve disease

A new embryonic stem cell line developed at the University of Michigan has just been placed on the US National Institutes of Health's registry, making the cells available for federally-funded research. The line, UM11-1PGD, was derived from a cluster of cells from a donated five-day-old embryo. That embryo was created for reproductive purposes, tested and found to be affected with a genetic disorder, and would have been discarded. It carries the gene defect which causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), a neurological disorder characterized by a progressive degeneration of the muscles in the foot, lower leg and hand. CMT is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders, affecting one in 2,500 people in the US. "We are proud to provide this cell line to the scientific community, in hopes that it may aid the search for new treatments and even a cure for CMT," says Gary Smith, who derived the line.