Mesenchymal stem cells reaped from bone marrow had been hailed as the key to growing new organs to replace those damaged or destroyed by violence or disease, but have failed to live up to the billing.
Instead, scientists who’d been trying to manipulate the cells to build replacement parts have been finding the cells are innately potent antidotes to a growing list of maladies.
The findings are summarized in the July 8 issue of Cell Stem Cell.
The cell, referred to as an MSC, “is a drugstore that functions at the local site of injury to provide all the medicine that site requires for its successful regeneration,” said Arnold Caplan, professor of biology at Case Western Reserve, and lead author of the paper.
MSCs sit on every blood vessel in the body. When a blood vessel is injured or enflamed, the cells detach and jump into action.
“From the front end, the cell puts up a curtain of molecules which stop an overaggressive immune system from sending in cells to survey the damage – which, if successful, would mount an autoimmune response,” he said. “The back face of the MSC secretes molecules that set up a regenerative microenvironment so that the damaged tissue can repair itself and not make scar tissue.”
Researchers around the world have been using the cells in a broad range of preclinical animal models of disease and injury and in clinical trials during the last decade.
By injecting MSCs into damaged tissue or infusing them into the blood stream, the therapy appears to have muted damage or cured such diverse conditions and disorders as acute heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, tendonitis, juvenile diabetes, radiation syndrome, arthritis, amyotrophic lateral syndrome, burns, wounds and more.
The researchers have found that MSCs from one human do not cause an immune response in another, nor in animals injected with human MSCs.
Most of the research has been done using cells culled from bone marrow, but results using cells extracted from fat, placenta, umbilical cord and muscle have shown similar but not identical potential.
Which source of cell is the best for each disease or injury requires further investigation.
Recent work, led by the University of San Francisco scientists, shows the cell’s arsenal is even greater. They found the cells produce a protein that kills bacteria including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and enhance clearance of the microbes from the body.
Because MSCs are showing themselves capable of far more than a foundation for tissue engineering, Caplan suggests the acronym should now stand for medicinal signaling cells.
Kevin Mayhood | Newswise Science News
Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.02.2017 | Life Sciences
22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy