The Griffith University study published today (Thursday 9am US East Coast) in the journal Stem Cells found that adult stem cells harvested from the noses of Parkinson's patients gave rise to dopamine-producing brain cells when transplanted into the brain of a rat.
The debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's such as loss of muscle control are caused by degeneration of cells that produce the essential chemical dopamine in the brain.
Current drug therapies replace dopamine in the brain, but these often become less effective after prolonged use.
The discovery is the work of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research, part of Griffith's Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies.
Project leader Professor Alan Mackay-Sim said researchers simulated Parkinson's symptoms in rats by creating lesions on one side of the brain similar to the damage Parkinson's causes in the human brain.
"The lesions to one side of the brain made the rats run in circles," he said.
"When stem cells from the nose of Parkinson's patients were cultured and injected into the damaged area the rats re-aquired the ability to run in a straight line.
"All animals transplanted with the human cells had a dramatic reduction in the rate of rotation within just 3 weeks," he said.
"This provided evidence the cells had differentiated to give rise to dopamine-producing neurons influenced by being in the environment of the brain. In-vitro tests also revealed the presence of dopamine."
"Significantly, none of the transplants led to formation of tumours or teratomas in the host rats as has occurred after embryonic stem cell transplantation in a similar model.
He said like all stem cells, stem cells from the olfactory nerve in the nose are 'naïve' having not yet differentiated into which sort of cells they will give rise to.
"They can still be influenced by the environment they are put into. In this case we transplanted them into the brain, where they were directed to give rise to dopamine producing brain cells."
The advantage of using a patient's own cells is that, unlike stem cells from a foreign embryo, they are not rejected by the patient's immune system, so patients are free from a lifetime of potentially dangerous immuno-suppressant drug therapy.
This development follows Professor Mackay-Sim's 2006 development of a world-first technique that demonstrated that olfactory adult stem cells can give rise to heart, nerve, liver and brain cells.
Jeannette Langan | EurekAlert!
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences