A study on mice suggests that a type of stem cells found in blood vessels may someday be able to regenerate wasting muscle in muscular dystrophy (MD) patients.
The authors caution that more research must be done before researchers consider applying these findings to humans. Nonetheless, their results provide a possible new direction for efforts that have met largely with frustration thus far. The study appears in the journal Science, published by AAAS, the science society.
The research team, led by Giulio Cossu of the Stem Cell Research Institute, in Milan, and the University of Rome and the Institute of Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering, in Rome, has found that these stem cells can cross from the bloodstream, into muscle tissue. There, they seem to take on a new identity, helping to generate new muscle fibers in mice with MD-like symptoms.
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