A team of researchers at the University of Illinois led by doctors Fei Wang, Qiuhao Qu, and JianJun Cheng, have developed a fast and efficient technique for differentiating stem cells into motor neurons. The researchers added critical signaling molecules and growth factors to the cells much earlier than previous methods, resulting in twice the amount of neurons derived from the cells in half the time. Continue reading
A team of researchers led by Dr. Cecilia Laterza and Dr. Gianvito Martino at the San Raffaele Hospital have found a novel use of neural stem cells to modulate damage caused by multiple sclerosis. Stem cells injected into mice with MS travelled to sites of inflammation and secreted factors to promote growth of myelin-producing cells and limit the inflammation caused by the strong immune attack.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery find that mesenchymal stem cells [the type of stem cells found in teeth] promoted nerve regeneration in animal models [in this case – rodents] with paralyzing leg injuries. According to the researchers, “Mesenchymal stem cells may be a promising add-on therapy to help damaged nerves regenerate.” The study found that the rodents treated with their own stem cells responded best to the treatment. Those treated with donated cells from dissimilar rodent types – a situation most similar to human transplants – rejected their new limbs.