The findings are published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Although these are preliminary results, the findings increase the likelihood that endometrial tissue could be harvested from women with Parkinson's disease and used to re-grow brain areas that have been damaged by the disease, according to lead author Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine, and section chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale School of Medicine.
Because of their ability to divide into new cell types, stem cells could be the key to treating many different kinds of diseases, like Parkinson's, in which the body's own cells are damaged or depleted. Parkinson's is caused by a breakdown of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain stem. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that stimulates the motor neurons that in turn control muscles. When dopamine production is reduced, the nerves are not able to control movement or maintain coordination.
In their study, Taylor and his colleagues collected and cultured endometrial tissue from nine women, and verified that they could be transformed into dopamine-producing nerve cells like those in the brain.
"The dopamine levels in the mice increased once we transferred the endometrial stem cells into their brains," said Taylor. "This is encouraging because women have a ready supply of stem cells that are easily obtained, can differentiate into other cell types. They may have great potential for treating multiple diseases."
Highlighting the benefits of using endometrial stem cells, Taylor said the ethical concerns surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells are eliminated when using adult stem cells. Taylor also points out that endometrial stem cells are one of the best sources for generating neurons because they appear to be less likely to be rejected than stem cells from other sources.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we will be able to do with these cells," said Taylor. "We believe these neurons are only the first of many cell types derived from endometrium that will be used to treat a variety of diseases."
Other Yale authors on the study included Erin F. Wolff, Xiao-Bing Gao, Katherine V. Yao, Zane B. Andrews, Hongling Du and John D. Elsworth.
The study was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Citation: Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
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