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Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells May Offer Novel Therapeutic Option for Skin Disorder
Date:12/4/2008

ey can produce extracellular matrix proteins," said Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study. "In this condition, the skin, the largest organ in the body, can significantly benefit from a renewable source of healthy cells that can help improve the connection between the dermis and epidermis and strengthen the skin against everyday stresses."

In this study, researchers worked with a mouse model of RDEB-infused bone marrow cells to determine if they would increase production of the col7 protein and formation of anchoring fibrils, and improve survival in the mouse recipients. The research team used bone marrow cells enriched for hematopoietic (stem cells that can develop into most blood cell types) and progenitor cells to increase the concentration of cells with the capacity to produce col7. The team tested these cells against non-enriched stem cells to determine their benefit to the treated mice.

Results of the study found that when injected into mice with RDEB, these specially selected marrow-derived stem cells diminished the disease process. They traveled to the diseased skin areas, increased protein and anchoring fibrils, prevented blister formation and extended survival. In contrast to other marrow cells, the selected cells extended the median survival time versus untreated or non-enriched marrow-treated recipients (10.0 versus 5.6 versus 6.0 days, respectively). Three of the 20 mice treated with the enriched cells benefited enough from the treatment to survive longer than the treatment period (untreated RDEB mice usually die within two weeks). Importantly, each survivor demonstrated marked improvement of new blister formation (blisters develop consistently in the areas of trauma, including footpads due to walking or in the oral cavity due to eating) with some evidence of old blisters healing.

"Our data provide the first evidence that a selecte
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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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