Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Jekyll and Hyde' cell may hold key to muscular dystrophy, fibrosis treatment

18.01.2010
A team of University of British Columbia researchers has identified fat-producing cells that possess "dual-personalities" and may further the development of treatments for muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy and fibrosis.

The team found a new type of fibro/adipogenic progenitors, or FAPs, that generate fatty fibrous tissues when transplanted into damaged muscles in mice. Progenitors are similar to stem cells in their capacity to differentiate, but are limited in the number of times they can divide.

The findings are published in the current issue of Nature Cell Biology.

"These cells are typically dormant in muscle tissues," says lead author Fabio Rossi, Canada Research Chair in Regenerative Medicine. "Once activated by damage, they produce signals that coordinate tissue regeneration and then disappear. That's the Dr. Jekyll side of FAPs.

"In chronic muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy, however, FAPs persist and may be contributing to over-production of scar tissues, resulting in fibrosis. That's the Mr. Hyde side," says Rossi, associate professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and the Biomedical Research Centre.

Better understanding of the role of FAPs could help encourage their healthy function or repress their negative impact, the researchers say. In the long term, drugs targeting these cells may be useful in a range of diseases characterized by fibrosis ranging from cardiovascular to lung and kidney disease, to organ transplantation. In addition, the cells' ability to generate new fat tissue could be exploited to target metabolic disease.

The study was supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and The Foundation for Cell Therapy. The Biomedical Research Centre is affiliated with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine provides innovative programs in the health and life sciences, teaching students at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, and generates more than $200 million in research funding each year. In 2007/08, out of the total UBC research endeavour, 53 per cent, or $247 million, came from academic and clinical teams in the Faculty of Medicine. For more information, visit www.med.ubc.ca.

The Biomedical Research Centre is an interdisciplinary research centre with the goal to generate new knowledge about how the immune system and adult stem cells accomplish their vital tasks, and how disturbances in these processes result in disease. The aim is to translate this new knowledge into innovative treatments for chronic diseases like arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer. www.brc.ubc.ca.

VCH Research Institute is the research body of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. In academic partnership with UBC, the institute advances health research and innovation across B.C., Canada, and beyond. www.vchri.ca.

Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation

12.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>