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PET and bioluminescent imaging aid evaluation of stem cells' potential for new ways to treat disease
Date:12/6/2007

RESTON, Va.Using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with bioluminescencethe light produced by a chemical reaction within an organismresearchers are starting to understand the behavior of transplanted or implanted stem cells that may one day be used to develop new treatments for disease.

According to a study in the December Journal of Nuclear Medicine, scientists have found that using the unique combination of noninvasive PET imaging and optical (bioluminescent) imaging is an ideal method for tracking stem cell transplantation in small animal models, said Zhenghong Lee, an associate professor of nuclear medicine/radiology and biomedical engineering departments at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Researchers were able to use these two imaging techniques to follow stem cells for a longer time than previously had been achieved to determine their fate, explained Lee.

Human mesenchymal stems cells or multipotent marrow stromal cells (hMSCs) are self-renewing adult stem cells that are found in adult donor bone marrow. These stem cells, the bodys blank or master cells, may differentiate (or change) into bone, fat tissue and cartilage, said Lee. The promise of MSC therapiesderived from adult bone marrow and used as a viable and renewable source of stem cellsmandates research leading to a better understanding of the long-term fate and trafficking of transplanted MSCs in animal and human subjects, said the investigator at Case Westerns Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. These progenitor cells may have great potential in providing future treatments for heart diseases, brain disorders and cancer and greatly reduce the need to use embryonic stem cells or other fetal tissues.

Specifically, this imaging research could help optimize treatments for individuals with graft-versus-host disease, a life-threatening condition where immune cells from donated marrow or cord blood attack the body of a bone marrow transpl
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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