Human neurons grown as cells cloned from a tumor helped restore the function of severely injured spinal cords in rats, University of South Florida researchers say in a study released this week in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.
"Transplants of these specially treated cells were used to patch a short circuit in the spinal cord of rats," said Samuel Saporta, PhD, associate director of the USF Center for Aging and Brain Repair, professor of anatomy and lead author of the study. "We demonstrated the cells are safe, survive and can electrically reconnect the undamaged parts of the spinal cord."
A couple of the spinal cord-injured (SCI) rats could bear weight on their hind legs following transplantation with the experimental cells, known commercially as hNT, or LBS, neurons. However, the researchers emphasize, more studies are needed to determine if rats with reconnected spinal cords can walk again.
Anne DeLotto Baier | EurekAlert!
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