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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 518135, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/518135
Review Article

Potential and Limitation of HLA-Based Banking of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cell Therapy

Transplant Immunology Unit, Division of Immunology and Allergy and Division of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital of Geneva, 4 rue Gabrielle Perret-Gentil, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland

Received 9 April 2014; Revised 6 June 2014; Accepted 18 June 2014; Published 9 July 2014

Academic Editor: Jean-Marie Tiercy

Copyright © 2014 Casimir de Rham and Jean Villard. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Great hopes have been placed on human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells for therapy. Tissues or organs derived from hPS cells could be the best solution to cure many different human diseases, especially those who do not respond to standard medication or drugs, such as neurodegenerative diseases, heart failure, or diabetes. The origin of hPS is critical and the idea of creating a bank of well-characterized hPS cells has emerged, like the one that already exists for cord blood. However, the main obstacle in transplantation is the rejection of tissues or organ by the receiver, due to the three main immunological barriers: the human leukocyte antigen (HLA), the ABO blood group, and minor antigens. The problem could be circumvented by using autologous stem cells, like induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, derived directly from the patient. But iPS cells have limitations, especially regarding the disease of the recipient and possible difficulties to handle or prepare autologous iPS cells. Finally, reaching standards of good clinical or manufacturing practices could be challenging. That is why well-characterized and universal hPS cells could be a better solution. In this review, we will discuss the interest and the feasibility to establish hPS cells bank, as well as some economics and ethical issues.