Stem cell-derived organoids mimic parathyroid tissue
Stem cell-derived parathyroid organoids (PTOs) may pave the way for future physiological studies and drug screening, according to a study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports. Parathyroid glands contain stem cells capable of forming organoids, research has shown. These organoids secrete hormones, express specific markers, and exhibit similar responses to drugs, mimicking patients.
The co-senior research author of the paper, Sherto Cruyver of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, said that this is the first time in the world that parathyroid stem cells have been isolated and these cells have been maintained as organoids in the laboratory for a long time. The new study uses PTO as a new model for the study of parathyroid disease.
Parathyroid disease is characterized by altered secretion of parathyroid hormone, resulting in abnormal blood calcium concentrations. Organoids are 3D structures that closely recapitulate tissue architecture and cellular composition, and are developed from stem cells. These models have proven useful for studying tumor behavior and assessing drug response, and provide a platform for long-term in vitro experiments.
In this study, the researchers set out to create a patient-derived PTO model representative of human parathyroid tissue. The researchers obtained human benign hyperplastic parathyroid tissue from patients undergoing parathyroid surgery. They isolated parathyroid stem cells from the tissue and tested their potential to expand and form PTO.
PTO was similar to the original tissue in terms of gene and protein expression levels and function. The researchers identified specific parathyroid-targeted tracer uptake in PTO. Taken together, the results demonstrate that these organoids mimic the function of the human parathyroid gland.
Despite the lack of an original microenvironment including blood vessels and fluctuating extracellular signal concentrations, functional tests and tracer experiments showed that PTO is a very suitable model resembling functional parathyroid tissue.
In future studies, the researchers plan to transplant these organoids into rats with hypoparathyroidism to study their function in living animal models.