Tipping the Scales: Stem Cells May Help Prevent Obesity and More.

Scientists have found that the alteration of stem cell cilia can have a positive effect on weight loss.

 

In a recently published study from the Queen Mary University of London, scientists discovered a connection between the length of cilia [hair-like projections for cell movement] on stem cells and their proclivity towards differentiating into fat cells.  By restricting the elongation of stem cell cilia, the researchers were able to impede on the formation of new fat cells. Continue reading

Atherosclerotic Lesions Prevented by MSCs

Stem cells were found to reduce plaque in patients with atherosclerosis.

According to new research from the National Yang-Ming University, mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] hold the ability to limit atherosclerotic plaque formation, thereby preventing the onset of harmful endothelial lesions. The research team, led by Shih-Chieh Hung, transplanted MSCs into animal models with atherosclerosis and observed significant reduction in plaque formation. They also saw an increase in blood vessel dilation, which prevents further plaque development, indicating good endothelial health. Continue reading

Low Blood Cell Counts Could Be Treated by Regulating Stem Cells.

Megakaryotes may hold the ability to regulate the amount of blood that stem cells produce.

According to new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, hematopoietic stem cells [stem cells that produce blood] are directly regulated by megakaryocytes, the blood cells responsible for healing wounds.  The researchers found that megakaryotes produce two growth factors; one that signals for hematopoietic stem cells to proliferate, and one that keeps them in an inactive state.  This relationship controls the amount of blood being produced in the body. Continue reading

Male Infertility Research Identifies Sperm-Producing Stem Cells.

A new method of identifying sperm-producing stem cells could lead to stem cell treatments for male sterility.

In a recent study conducted by the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, scientists have discovered a rare line of stem cells involved in regulating spermatogenesis [the production of sperm cells].  Furthermore, these stem cells are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which are toxic to the male germline and common causes for male infertility. Continue reading

Esophagus Engineered with Stem Cells In-Vivo.

Scientists have utilized stem cells to engineer an esophagus without exogenous growth factors.

Researchers from the Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have grown esophageal tissue in vivo (in the body) from stem cells without the use of exogenous growth factors.  In an animal model, the scientists transplanted stem cells, as well as a simple biodegradable scaffold, and relied on the stem cells’ ability to migrate towards the tissue in need of repair.  The cells then differentiated into the epithelial, muscle, and nerve cells to develop a healthy esophagus. Continue reading

Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment Utilizes Stem Cells

Scientists have devised a method of regenerating blood vessels by transplanting stem cells.

Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine have developed a potential therapy for peripheral artery disease by transplanting autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells.  In an animal model, the transplanted stem cells differentiated into new blood vessels, which then restored blood flow to damaged tissues in the body. Continue reading

CRISPR Advances Genetic Disease Treatment with Stem Cells.

CRISPR may change the way scientists incorporate stem cells for translational genomics.

Scientists led by Dr. Craig Mello of The University of Massachusetts have developed a genetic tool – CRISPR [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats] – to revolutionize the way stem cells are applied to treat genetic diseases, such as sickle cell or thalassemia.  CRISPR aims to expedite and improve upon the process of translational genomics, in which the patient’s stem cells are extracted, altered to repair the damaged gene, and then transplanted back to the patient. Continue reading

Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Incorporates Stem Cells in Clinical Trial

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy has been deemed safe for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

A recent clinical trial conducted by the University of Genoa has determined that mesenchymal stem cell therapy to treat multiple sclerosis is indeed safe to perform on humans.  27 MS patients completed the study, which comprised an injection of the patient’s own [autologous] mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to reduce excessive inflammation caused by the patients’ own immune systems. None of the patients suffered any side effects from the injection. Continue reading

Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Incorporates Stem Cells in Clinical Trial

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy has been deemed safe for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

A recent clinical trial conducted by the University of Genoa has determined that mesenchymal stem cell therapy to treat multiple sclerosis is indeed safe to perform on humans.  27 MS patients completed the study, which comprised an injection of the patient’s own [autologous] mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to reduce excessive inflammation caused by the patients’ own immune systems. None of the patients suffered any side effects from the injection. Continue reading

Muscle Degeneration Halted by Stem Cell Activation

A protein involved in muscle regeneration may be integral in activating stem cell-mediated muscle repair.

Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical research institute have developed a potential method of regenerating autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells to repair damaged muscle tissue in patients suffering from muscle-degenerative diseases.  The scientists found that the inhibition of protein STAT3 results in the replenishment of the body’s muscle stem cells, which in turn repair the muscles that are damaged by age, cancer, and diseases such as muscular dystrophy. Continue reading