Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neural stem cells improve motor function in brain injuries

02.10.2002


Transplants in animal models could translate into therapy for humans

Neural stem cells, transplanted into injured brains, survive, proliferate, and improve brain function in laboratory models according to research based at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The findings, published in the October edition of the journal Neurosurgery, suggest that stem cells could provide the first clinical therapy to treat traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries occur in two million Americans each year and are the leading cause of long-term neurological disability in children and young adults.

"Transplantation of neural stem cells in mice three days after brain injury promotes the improvement of specific components of motor function," said Tracy K. McIntosh, PhD, professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, Director of Penn’s Head Injury Center, and senior author of the study. "More importantly, these stem cells respond to signals and create replacement cells: both neurons, which transmit nerve signals, and glial cells, which serve many essential supportive roles in the nervous system."



If stem cells are blank slates, able to become any type of body cells, then neural stem cells (NSCs) are slates with the basics of neurology already written on them, waiting for signals in the nervous system to fill in the blanks. The NSCs used by McIntosh and his colleagues were cloned from mouse progenitor cells and grown in culture. The advantage of NSCs exists in their ability to easily incorporate themselves into their new environment in ways other types of transplants could not.

"If you put these cells into normal newborn mice, they would behave exactly like normal cells – they create different neural cell types and they don’t reproduce tumorigenically," said McIntosh. "In humans, the use of similar neural stem cells would avoid the ethical dilemmas posed by fetal stem cells and the limitations seen in cultures of cloned neurons."

In humans, traumatic brain injury is associated with disabilities affecting mobility, motor function and coordination. Following NSC transplantation in mice, the researchers used simple tests to determine motor skills. They found that mice with transplanted NSCs recovered much of their physical ability. The transplanted NSCs, however, seemed to have little effect in aiding recovery of lost cognitive abilities.

"The ultimate goal, of course, is to translate what we have learned into a therapy for humans," said McIntosh. Neural transplantation has been suggested to be potentially useful as a therapeutic intervention in several central nervous system diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ischemic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. While McIntosh is impressed with the results of NSC transplants in mice, similar trials for humans are not expected in the near future.

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.upenn.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
16.01.2018 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
12.01.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations

16.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials

16.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>