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Research suggests promise of cell therapy for bowel disease
Date:9/19/2012

o different organs and contribute to tissue-specific cell populations. Evaluating their potential to migrate to the intestine was an obvious choice, said Almeida-Porada, because dysfunctional blood vessels are a hallmark of IBD. Not only are circulating levels of vessel-forming cells reduced in patients with IBD, but a key factor in IBD progression is the development of abnormal or immature blood vessels, which leads to chronic inflammation.

The cells were injected into fetal sheep at 59 to 65 days gestation. About 11 weeks later, intestinal tissue was analyzed to detect the presence of the human cells. The researchers found that the human cells had migrated to the intestine and contributed significantly to the cell population there.

"This study shows that the cells can migrate to and survive in a healthy intestine and have the potential to support vascular health," said Almeida-Porada. "Our next step will be to determine whether the cells can survive in the 'war' environment of an inflamed intestine."

The researchers also evaluated the ability of the cells to home to the liver. Smaller numbers of cells reached the liver than the intestine, suggesting that new strategies would be needed to enhance the therapeutic potential for this organ.


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Contact: Karen Richardson
krchrdsn@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4453
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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