Paul R. Sanberg, DSc, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Center for Aging and Brain Repair at USF Health, wrote the commentary “Neural Stem Cells for Parkinson’s Disease: To Protect and Repair” published July 9 in the “Early Edition” online version of journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The expert commentary (see http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0704704104v1) is a companion piece to the study conducted by Gene Redmond and colleagues at Yale and Harvard Universities and the Burnham Institute.
That NIH-funded study showed that only a small number of stem cells turned into dopamine-producing cells – not enough to improve the primates’ function by replacing missing neurons. Instead, some stem cells turned into astrocytes, a supportive brain cell that produces neuron-nourishing chemicals. The researchers also identified in the brains of the primate recipients a significant amount of dopamine-producing neurons that were not derived from stem cells. The results suggest that stem cells may actually trigger the brain’s own self-repair mechanisms by pumping out molecules that boost nerve survival and blood vessel development and decrease neural degeneration.
“We at the Center for Aging and Brain Repair at USF Health have been arguing, for some time now, that stem cells are important for brain repair because they provide growth factors and because they send signals to the brain to help it repair itself,” Dr. Sanberg said. “This study in primates showed the same effects — that the stem cells are there to act as facilators of repair versus the original hypothesis that stem cells are transplanted to merely replace an injured cell.”
Dr. Sanberg said the study has relevance to all audiences. “This was one of the first studies to look at stem cells in primates with Parkinson’s disease. It’s the first step in translating that research,” he said. “We hear about new sources of stem cells monthly, but how we take those cells and treat disease is going to be a significant amount of translational work. This is one of the first studies that starts that process — looking at primates before going into people with Parkinson’s disease.”
While the transplanted cells appeared not to form tumors following transplant, Dr. Sanberg said the translational research in primates raises questions that need to be addressed before moving to human trials, including determining the most effective cell dosing and brain sites to target. “Pending further preclinical studies,” he writes in the commentary, “the results so far from the current study are supportive for developing a safe and effective stem cell treatment for Parkinson’s disease.”
Dr. Sanberg’s commentary and the study it highlights will also be published in the magazine edition of PNAS, a prestigious publication with a global audience. PNAS has been a resource for multidisciplinary research since 1914. Its online edition, where Dr. Sanberg’s commentary appears this week, receives nearly 6 million e-visitor “hits” per month. Content includes research reports, commentaries, reviews, perspectives, colloquium papers, and actions of the Academy. Coverage in PNAS spans the biological, physical, and social sciences.
Dr. Sanberg also commented on the PNAS study of neural stem cells in Parkinson’s primates for an article appearing June 11 in Nature.com.
- USF Health -
USF Health is a partnership of the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences and physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. It is a partnership dedicated to the promise of creating a new model of health and health care. One of the nation’s top 63 public research universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, USF received more than $310 million in research contracts and grants last year.
Anne DeLotto Baier | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy