Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stem cell therapy - a future treatment for lower back pain?

29.11.2010
Lower back pain affects many people and may be caused by degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae. Treatment for the condition using stem cells may be an alternative to today's surgical procedures. This is the conclusion of a thesis presented at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The cells in a degenerated intervertebral disc (which are mainly made of cartilage) no longer work normally. This leads to the disc drying out, which impairs its function and leads to lower back pain.
"It is generally believed that cartilage has no, or very little, capacity to heal, and knowledge about how cell division takes place in intervertebral discs is limited", says scientist Helena Barreto-Henriksson of the Institute of Clinical Sciences and the Institute of Biomedicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

The thesis describes how the scientists have studied cell division in the disc, and the possibility of influencing the disc through cell transplantation. In animal studies and in studies of human discs removed during surgery, they have identified areas in the periphery of the disc in which the cells have properties similar to those of stem cells. The cells probably contribute to the growth of new cells, and provide the disc with a certain capacity to self-heal.

The scientists have also investigated the possibility of transplanting cells to a disc by injecting human stem cells into damaged discs in an animal model. 
"Images taken by MRI showed that the transplanted stem cells survived, that they developed into cells that had a function similar to that of disc cells, and that there was a certain degree of healing in the disc", says Helena Barreto-Henriksson.

The results will stimulate further studies about whether it is possible to restore an intervertebral disc, or prevent its further degeneration, using biological treatments. One possible strategy is to stimulate the existing stem cells in the neighbourhood, while another is to develop methods for cell transplantation in patients, using the patient's own stem cells from the bone marrow.
"The advantage of such treatment over today's surgical approaches is that it would be a much simpler and less serious procedure for the patient", points out Helena Barreto-Henriksson.

DISC DEGENERATION
Disc degeneration is a change in the properties of intervertebral discs (which are mainly made of cartilage) that leads to the risk of them becoming too thin. The condition is common among older people and may lead to the displacement of a vertebra and contribute to a constriction in the spinal cord, known as spinal stenosis. It may also arise in younger people and in the middle-aged, and is then considered to be a significant underlying cause of severe and chronic lower back pain.

Title of the thesis: Intervertebral disc regeneration. Studies on stem cell niches and cell transplantation

For more information, please contact: 
Helena Barreto-Henriksson, PhD student at the Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska Academy
Tel.: +46 (0)31 342 77 07
E-mail: helena.barreto.henriksson@gu.se
Published in: Cells Tissues and Organs. 2010; 191(1): 2-11
Title: Human disc cells from degenerated discs and mesenchymal stem cells in co-culture result in increased matrix production

Authors: Svanvik T, Henriksson HB, Karlsson C, Hagman M, Lindahl A, Brisby H.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=19494482

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Stiffness matters
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Separate brain systems cooperate during learning, study finds
22.02.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>