Dr. Stephen Davies, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, reported that in collaboration with researchers at the University of Rochester, NY his research team has transplanted two types of the major support cells of the brain and spinal cord, cells called astrocytes. These two types of astrocytes, which are both made from the same embryo-derived stem cell-like precursor cell, have remarkably different effects on the spinal repair process.
Using signal molecules known to be involved in the generation of embryonic astrocytes during spinal cord development, the researchers were able to make pure cultures of two different types of astrocytes from the GRP cells.
When Dr. Davies and his team transplanted these two types of astrocytes into the injured spinal cord, they had dramatically different effects. One type of astrocyte called GDAsBMP was remarkably effective at promoting nerve regeneration and recovery of limb motion when transplanted into spinal cord injuries. However, the other type of astrocyte cell generated called GDAsCNTF, not only failed to promote nerve fiber regeneration or functional recovery but also caused neuropathic pain, a severe side effect that was not seen in rats treated with GDAsBMP.
“To our knowledge, this is the first time that two distinct sub-types of astrocyte support cells generated from a common stem cell-like precursor cell have been shown to have robustly different effects when transplanted into the injured adult nervous system,” co-author Dr. Mayer-Proschel said.
Transplantation of the stem cell-like precursor cells without first turning them into astrocytes, also caused pain syndromes and no spinal repair. Davies said “It has long been a concern that therapies that promote growth of nerve fibers in the injured spinal cord would also cause sprouting of pain circuits. However, by using GDAsBMP to repair spinal cord injuries we can have all the gains without the pain, while these other cell types appear to provide the opposite – pain but no gain.” The research teams considered the distinction between the effects of GDAsBMP, GDAsCNTF and GRP cells a “breakthrough” that might change the way stem cell technologies are used to repair spinal cord injuries.
Controlling the development of stem cells immediately before transplanting them into injured spinal cords is essential because doctors cannot rely on the injured tissues of the body to create the right types of cells from “naïve” stem cells. Co-author Mark Noble said “These studies are particularly exciting in addressing two of the most significant challenges to the field of stem cell medicine – defining the optimal cell for tissue repair and identifying means by which inadequately characterized approaches may actually cause harm.’ To that end, the researchers are developing a safe, efficient and cost-effective way to make human GDAsBMP with an eye toward testing this new stem cell technology in humans.
Charlotte Webber | alfa
The Secret of the Rock Drawings
24.05.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Chemical juggling with three particles
24.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2019 | Life Sciences