Therapies for spinal cord injury may result
Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) have shown that stem cells found in adult skin retain their embryonic capability of making many types of cells. This discovery affirms the potential that stem cells derived from this non-controversial source possess for the development of possible therapies for spinal cord injury and nervous system disorders. This research is reported in the November issue of the scientific journal Nature. "We think these stem cells are actually embryonic cells that go out into the skin during development and then stay in reservoirs in hair follicles," said Dr. Freda Miller, the studys principal investigator, a senior scientist in Development Biology in the Sick Kids Research Institute and a professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, and Physiology at the University of Toronto.
"These stem cells are similar to a type of embryonic stem cell called a neural crest stem cell, and like neural crest stem cells, are endogenous and multipotent in nature. These neural crest stem cells generate the peripheral nervous system, and we are therefore now confident that we can make neural and other types of cells from the stem cells found in adult skin," added Dr. Miller, also Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neurobiology.
Laura Greer | EurekAlert!
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