Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 334–339 | Cite as

Developments and Challenges in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Spain

  • R. P. Cervera
  • M. StojkovicEmail author


After years of following the trail of others, Spain is finally making a serious bid in science, specifically in regenerative medicine. In the framework of the European Union, Spain is setting up the basis for a solid collaborative network between public and private institutions, involving basic, translational, applied, technological and clinical researchers. In a society characterised by the idiom “slow but secure”, it is still too soon to see the results of the huge economic and infrastructure investment made. We present here an overview of the challenges that have been surmounted and the ones that will have to be solved in order to situate Spain as a reference country in regenerative medicine worldwide.


Stem cells Embryo Policy 



The authors would like to thank Michael John Reinhold for the critical reading of this paper. We would also like to thank Cristina Duque Royo and Pedro Fernández from Hospital Universitario La Fe for their support in providing human oocytes.


  1. 1.
    Thomson, J. A., Itskovitz-Eldor, J., Shapiro, S. S., Waknitz, M. A., Swiergiel, J. J., Marshall, V. S., et al. (1998). Embryonic stem cell lines derived from human blastocysts. Science, 282(5391), 1145–1147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wilmut, I., Schnieke, A. E., McWhir, J., Kind, A. J., & Campbell, K. H. (1997). Viable offspring derived from fetal and adult mammalian cells. Nature, 385(6619), 810–813.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Munsie, M. J., Michalska Aem O’Brien, C. M., Trounson, A. O., Pera, M. F., & Mountford, P. S. (2000). Isolation of pluripotent embryonic stem cells from reprogrammed adult mouse somatic cell nuclei. Current Biology, 10(16), 989–992.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wakayama, T., Tabar, V., Rodríguez, I., Perry, A. C., Studer, L., & Mombaerts, P. (2001). Differentiation of embryonic stem cell lines generated from adult somatic cells by nuclear transfer. Science, 292(5517), 740–743.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rideout, W. M., 3rd, Hochedlinger, K., Kyba, M., Daley, G. Q., & Jaenisch, R. (2002). Correction of a genetic defect by nuclear transplantation and combined cell and gene therapy. Cell, 109(1), 17–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Simerly, C., Dominko, T., Navara, C., Payne, C., Capuano, S., Gosman, G., et al. (2003). Molecular correlates of primate nuclear transfer failures. Science, 300(5617), 297.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sparman, M., Dighe, V., Sritanaudomchai, H., Ma, H., Ramsey, C., Pedersen, D., et al. (2009). Epigenetic reprogramming by somatic cell nuclear transfer in primates. Stem Cells, 27(6), 1255–1264.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Stojkovic, M., Stojkovic, P., Leary, C., Hall, V. J., Armstrong, L., Herbert, M., et al. (2005). Derivation of a human blastocyst after heterologous nuclear transfer to donated oocytes. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 11(2), 226–231.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    French, A. J., Adams, C. A., Anderson, L. S., Kitchen, J. R., Hughes, M. R., & Wood, S. H. (2008). Development of human cloned blastocysts following somatic cell nuclear transfer with adult fibroblasts. Stem Cells, 26(2), 485–493.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Li, J., Liu, X., Wang, H., Zhang, S., Liu, F., Wang, X., et al. (2009). Human embryos derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer using an alternative enucleation approach. Cloning Stem Cells, 11(1), 39–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Takahashi, K., & Yamanaka, S. (2006). Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors. Cell, 126(4), 663–676.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Raya, A., & Izpisúa-Belmonte, J. C. (2009). Stem cell research in Spain: if only they were windmills. Cell Stem Cell, 4(6), 483–486.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Calvanese, V., Horrillo, A., Hmadcha, A., Suarez-Alvarez, B., Fernandez, A. F., Lara, E., et al. (2008). Cancer genes hypermethylated in human embryonic stem cells. Plos One, 3(9), e3294.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Erceg, S., Laínez, S., Ronaghi, M., Stojkovic, P., Pérez-Aragó, M. A., Moreno-Manzano, V., et al. (2008). Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to regional specific neural precursors in chemically defined medium conditions. PLoS ONE, 3(5), e2122.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Raya, A., Rodríguez-Pizà, I., Guenechea, G., Vassena, R., Navarro, S., Barrero, M. J., et al. (2009). Disease-corrected haematopoietic progenitors from Fanconi anaemia induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature, 460(7251), 53–59.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Elstner, A., Damaschun, A., Kurtz, A., Stacey, G., Aran, B., Veiga, A., et al. (2009). The changing landscape of European and International regulation on embryonic stem cell research. Stem Cell Research, 2(2), 101–107.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bosch, X. (2005). Changing ethics rules land Spanish stem cell scientists in hot water. Nature Medicine, 11(12), 1262.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cellular reprogramming laboratoryPrince Felipe Research Centre (CIPF)ValenciaSpain

Personalised recommendations