Transplanted fat cells restore function after spinal cord injury
Experts say Australia needs a national screening policy for Down syndrome as research shows it could halve the number of babies born with the genetic condition. Currently access to tests that help detect if a foetus has Down syndrome varies widely across states, between urban and rural areas, and public and private patients resulting in
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A study published in the current issue of Cell Transplantation (Vol.17, No. suggests that mature adipocytes - fat cells - could become a source for cell replacement therapy to treat central nervous system disorders.
According to the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Yuki Ohta of the Institute of Medical Science, St. Mariana University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan, adipose-derived stem/stromal cells have in the past been shown to differentiate into neuronal cells in an in vitro setting. In their study, for the first time fat cells have been shown to successfully differentiate into neuronal cells in in vivo tests. The fat cells are grown under culture conditions that result in them becoming de-differentiated fat (DFAT) cells.
“These cells, called DFAT cells, are plentiful and can be easily obtained from adipose tissue without discomfort and represent autologous (same patient) tissue,” said Ohta. “DFAT cells, with none of the features of adipocytes, do have the potential to differentiate into endothelial, neuronal or glial lineages.”
The research team reported that DFAT cells expressed neurotrophic factors, such as BDNF and GDNF, prior to and after transplantation and which likely contributed to the promotion of functional recovery.
According to Ohta and colleagues, tests in animal models confirmed that the injected cells survived without the aid of immunosuppression drugs and that the DFAT-grafted animals showed significantly better motor function than controls.
“We concluded that DFAT-derived neurotrophic factors contributed to promotion of functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI),” said Ohta. “Transplanting DFAT cells into SCI rats significantly promoted the recovery of their hind limb function.”
“These studies demonstrate the ability to obtain stem cells from a patient’s own fat that can help repair injury to the spinal cord,” said Paul R. Sanberg, PhD, DSc, at the University of South Florida Health, and Coeditor-in-chief of Cell Transplantation.
Cells from the human nose are showing further promise in remediating spinal cord injury, according to research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Six weeks after injecting cells from the human nose (olfactory ensheathing glia) into the injured spinal cords of rats, the researchers found improvements in the animals’ movement. “We
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A novel protein marker has been found that identifies rare adult liver stem cells, whose ability to regenerate injured liver tissue has the potential for cell-replacement therapy. For the first time, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine led by Linda Greenbaum, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, have
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Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have identified a novel mechanism in the regulation and differentiation of neural stem cells. Researchers found that the protein receptor Ryk has a key role in the differentiation of neural stem cells, and demonstrated a signaling mechanism that regulates neuronal differentiation as stem cells begin to grow
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According to Australian scientists help for spine injury victims could be just a sniff away - researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney say stem cells taken from the nose could help spinal injury victims regain movement. The team have conducted tests on paralysed rats which found they were able to
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Multiple sclerosis is a disease caused by the loss of the myelinated sheath surrounding the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. Therapeutic hope for curing multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases has included the possibility that stem cell transplants could help remyelinate the spinal cord. Accordingly, researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) conducted experiments
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