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Amniotic fluid stem cells repair gut damage
Date:3/24/2013

via a different mechanism. Following their injection into the gut, the AFS cells moved into the intestinal villi - the small, finger-like projections that protrude from the lining of the intestinal wall and pass nutrients from the intestine into the blood. However, rather than directly repairing the damaged tissue, the AFS cells appear to have released specific growth factors that acted on progenitor cells in the gut which in turn, reduced the inflammation and triggered the formation of new villi and other tissues.

Dr Paolo De Coppi, UCL Institute of Child Health, who led the study, says: "Stem cells are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects, but this is the first time we have shown that amniotic fluid stem cells can repair damage in the intestines. In the future, we hope that stem cells found in amniotic fluid will be used more widely in therapies and in research, particularly for the treatment of congenital malformations. Although amniotic fluid stem cells have a more limited capacity to develop into different cell types than those from the embryo, they nevertheless show promise for many parts of the body including the liver, muscle and nervous system."

Dr Simon Eaton, UCL Institute of Child Health and co-author of the study, adds: "Once we have a better understanding of the mechanisms by which AFS cells trigger repair and restore function in the gut, we can start to explore new cellular or pharmacological therapies for infants with necrotizing enterocolitis."


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Contact: Jenny Gimpel
jenny.gimpel@gosh.org
44-020-723-93043
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

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