According to latest research, sixty percent of nerve cell (neuron) damage can be reduced just by Injecting stem cells into the brains of mice who have lately suffered a stroke.
As believed in the past, the stem cells do not simply replace damaged tissue. The immature cells in its place trigger adult brain cells to switch gears and block a stroke-induced immune response that causes damage to the nerve.
Sean Savitz, a neuroligst from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, was not concerned in the study, saying “It is a paradigm shift. The original idea is that you put cells in there and it would reconstruct the cells that died. … The beauty of this is there’s not just one mechanism; they are acting in many different ways.”
Savitz says more than 10 years of past research has shown that stem cells have the probability to lessen inflammation, morph into new nerve cells, and stimulate production of fresh blood vessels (to nurture cells) and axons (the elongated fingerlike projections that neurons make use of to drive information to neighboring cells).
Director of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Study co-author Darwin Prockop said that earlier studies have shown that bone marrow stem cells (mesenchymal stromal cells) were able to reverse neurodegeneration in the brain caused by disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. But how this scientists were not quite sure of.
Prockop said, “This is the first time really that the mechanisms were laid out.” The discovery, published in the present day in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, not only assures to pave the way for new therapies but also assist physicians assess the achievement of these treatments.
Strokes were induced in six mice by jamming their carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain by Prockop and his team. Cells panic when blood is disconnected, triggering the immune system, which go into overdrive thus attacking and demolish healthy tissue.
Prockop said the group used human stem cells for the reason that mouse cells are a lot harder to segregate and grow in the lab—despite the fact that related results have been seen when animal cells were used. At some point the researchers injected human mesenchymal stromal cells into the animals’ brains after causing the strokes.
Prockop also said that “The fascinating thing was the cells were talking to each other—the human cells and the mouse cells. The human cells turned down some of those inflammatory and immune responses.”
Particularly he said that the stem cells encouraged the brain’s immune cells (called microglia) to calm down and call off their attack on healthy nerve tissue. When judging against with those who did not receive stem cell infusions, this resulted in sixty percent lesser amount of damage to neurons in the brains of treated animals. Additionally on a battery of movement, cognitive and behavioral tests the treated mice performed better than their untreated peers.
It is being said by Prockop that his team plans further animal tests before trying the procedure on humans. Nevertheless he remarks that several biotech companies are currently conducting clinical trials to test the usefulness and safety of using stem cells to put a stop to or reverse nerve cell damage. An enzyme called tissue plasminogen activator that dissolves blood vessel clots and should be given within 3 hours of an incident is the standard care for stroke today. One day to prevent damage to neurons, the stem cell method may purchase doctors added time.
“This gives us a way to measure the success of therapy,” Prockop says. “We haven’t done that in patients yet, but we could look for that.” As treatment given to mice had increased levels of a chemical called galectin 3 in fluid surrounding their brains.
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