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 Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>