Stem cells for MS & other neurodegenrative diseases

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Stem cells for MS & other neurodegenrative diseases

Postby Jaded » Mon May 01, 2006 2:25 pm

Just thought I'd post an article which I found quite exciting.

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Postby bromley » Wed May 03, 2006 1:37 am

I think this is the same story that Jaded posted.

Study: Bone Marrow Stem Cells May be Successful in Treating Parkinson's and MS

The results of a study published in the April issue of Stem Cells and Development suggest that human stem cells derived from bone marrow are predisposed to develop into a variety of nerve cell types, supporting the promise of developing stem cell-based therapies to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

Stem Cells and Development, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., carries the paper, entitled "Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Express Neural Genes, Suggesting a Neural Predisposition." (online here

The surprising results lend a new perspective to stem cell differentiation and suggest that multipotential stem cells may express a wide variety of genes at low levels and that stem cells achieve their remarkable plasticity by downregulating the expression of many of these background genes.

While many scientists believed stem cells were the most primitive cells, the study suggests otherwise. In an accompanying editorial, journal Editor-in-Chief, Denis English, Ph.D., Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Cell Biology at the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair Research at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, writes, "contrary to our current thinking, stem cells are in no sense primitive cells. In fact, stem cells may well be the most advanced cells the organism produces."

The authors of the report, Netta Blondheim, Yossef Levy, Tali Ben-Zur, Alex Burshtein, Tirza Cherlow, et al., from the Felsenstein Medical Research Center and Department of Neurology at Rabin Medical Center, the Sackler School of Medicine of Tel Aviv University, and Laniado Hospital in Israel, propose this new view of adult stem cell plasticity based on their findings that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells grown in the laboratory express an extensive assortment of neural genes, genes linked to the neuro-dopaminergic system, and transcription factors that control genes having neural significance.

They conclude that these MSCs are predisposed to differentiate into neuronal cells given the proper conditions. When transplanted into the central nervous system, they will develop into a variety of functional neural cell types, making them a potent resource for cell-based therapy.

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