Navigation Links
Stem Cells Hold Promise for Muscular Dystrophy

Injections helped restore damaged muscle in mice, researchers report

THURSDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are reporting that they've managed to repair damaged muscle in mice with a form of muscular dystrophy by injecting them with specialized stem cells from skeletal muscle.

There's no guarantee that the treatment will translate to humans with the disease, said study author Amy Wagers, an assistant professor in Harvard University's Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department.

Still, the findings are going to help scientists "move forward very quickly with human stem cells," she said. "It is an important step."

There are more than 30 kinds of muscular dystrophy, all genetic diseases that cause skeletal muscles to degenerate. The most common form, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, mainly affects boys and is caused by the lack of a protein that helps muscles stay intact.

Many children with the disease cannot walk and must live on respirators. The disease is usually fatal by early adulthood.

The best treatment is with steroids, which slow the immune response that causes much of the muscle scarring, said Paul Muhlrad, research program coordinator with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. "However, there are a number of promising experimental therapies under development, including gene and cell therapies and treatment with a high-tech drug," he said.

In the new study, Wagers and her colleagues turned to purified stem cells that create muscle. The cells came from healthy adult mice and were injected into mice with a disease that scientists consider to be the equivalent to Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The findings were published in the July 11 issue of Cell.

Like a replacement division sent to replace exhausted soldiers, the stem cells restored muscle. "They actually came in and started making muscle," she said.

The stem cells even left a supply of reserve cells for future use, Wagers said. These reserve cells were a bonus: "They can be activated if needed to repair damage later," she explained.

There is one hitch, however. The treatment probably won't help restore muscle in the heart, which some forms of muscular dystrophy target.

For now, the next step is to see if the approach will work in humans, Wagers said.

Muhlrad said the study is exciting, especially because it relies upon stem cells that come from adults, not embryos. Researchers have been working on a similar treatment using embryonic stem cells, but "that method entails some technical and ethical challenges," he said.

As for humans, the potential for the new stem cell treatment is unknown.

"Researchers will have to devise effective methods for isolating the required numbers of cells from human donors, for delivering those cells to all the affected muscles in patients, and for ensuring that the transplanted cells are not rejected by the recipient's immune system," Muhlrad said.

In general, "stem cell treatment is certainly not yet ready for prime time for muscular dystrophy, though there have been a number of promising preclinical studies in animals, which we're hopeful will enter human clinical trials soon."

More information

Learn more about muscular dystrophy from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Amy Wagers, Ph.D., principal investigator, Joslin Diabetes Center, and assistant professor, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department, Harvard University, Boston; Paul Muhlrad, Ph.D., research program coordinator, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Tucson, Ariz. July 11, 2008, Cell

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Tumors use enzyme to recruit regulatory T-cells and suppress immune response
2. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
3. Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart
4. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
5. Circulating fats kill transplanted pancreas cells, study shows
6. Experimental anti-cancer drug made from corn lillies kills brain tumor stem cells
7. Melanoma drug revs immune cells but cancer cells ignore it
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Embryonic stem cells used to grow cartilage
10. Molecular probe paints cancer cells in living animals, Stanford researchers find
11. USC researcher identifies stem cells in tendons that regenerate tissue in animal model
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Stem Cells Hold Promise for Muscular Dystrophy
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought together some ... at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event was livestreamed ... over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here . ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: ... faced every danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From ... Carole is a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company has ... today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula ... the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... has recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town ... article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health Literacy Innovations ... literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional ... announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Pa. , Oct. 12, 2017 ... leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today ... before the market opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, ... the results and business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern ... (U.S.) or 253-336-8738 (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today ... Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , where ... Following a comprehensive ... minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and minimal ... completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company expects ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... 2017  In response to the nationwide opioid ... Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen ... as a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s ... Recognizing the value and importance of ... Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: