The Many Uses of a Mouse Cell Line and the Advances in Animal Stem Cell Research
Why should researchers focus on using a mouse cell line instead of conducting their experiments directly on human stem cells? While human stem cells obtained from bone marrows, blood, placentas or even embryonic cells obtained from blastocysts left over after artificial insemination might be the most effective method of actually finding ways to cure diseases that affect humans, those cells aren’t as easy to come by or work with as animal stem cells. Animal stem cells – especially embryonic cells obtained from mice – offer scientists free reign in conducting just about any experiment they want, as opposed to the many limitations and ethical concerns associated with human ES cells.
Why Are Animal Cell Lines So Important?
From genetically engineered mouse models to the use of stem cell lines obtained from mice, primates and various other animals, there is a tendency in the scientific world to test just about any new treatment method on animals, before resorting to human clinical studies. Animal cell lines are particularly important when it comes to evaluating the dangers that untested stem cell therapies could pose on eventual human test subjects. Another reason for using animal cell lines is genetic diversity and the ability to see how genetic research impacts different species or mutated members of the same species. Finally, animal cell lines, and mouse embryonic stem cells in particular, are easier to purchase, study and experiment with. In fact, there is an immeasurable amount of research material available on mouse cell lines that you can learn from – far more than the bodies of knowledge linked to any other area of stem cell research.
The Benefits of Mouse Cell Lines
Mouse cell lineages are easy to work with, and can usually be obtained to facilitate specific types of experiments in areas where a large amount of starting material is needed, for example, in biochemistry. Also, as a beginning researcher, you can rely on readymade cell lines that are easier to maintain, grow and adapt than other varieties. Put simply, mouse cell lines can be some of the most practical assets in stem cell research, and their research potential is virtually limitless.
Mouse Cells for Studying Genetic Mutation and Disease
Genetic mutations and the diseases they cause are among the main lines of study that most mouse models and mouse stem cell lines are selected for. Tumor cells can be strong research models, and they can show exactly how the various abnormalities that cause their excessive growth can be altered through drugs and stem cell treatments. APC and BRAF mutations are currently two of the most common types of mutations studied with the use of mouse cell lines. They are mainly utilized to study the development and possible treatment of colon, lung, esophageal, thyroid and skin cancers, as well as various birth defects commonly linked to these mutations.
Commercially Available Mouse Cell Lines
Although thousands of human cell lines have also become available in recent years, mouse stem cell lines are still among the most readily found for specific purposes. Cells derived from mice may not be much cheaper than human cells in most cases, but regarding embryonic stem cells in particular, the availability rate and diversity of mouse stem cell lines is far greater than that of human-derived ES cells. As a result, when it comes to starting your stem cell research studies, mouse cells are probably your best option.