Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Medicine, Health Care > Transplanted Neural Stem Cells Slows… >

Transplanted Neural Stem Cells Slows Als Onset And Progression in Mouse Models

Published: December 20, 2012.
Released by University of Massachusetts Medical School  

WORCESTER, MA – Promising new research provides evidence that ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, may be treatable using neural stem cells. A consortium of researchers at multiple institutions, including the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, have shown that neural stem cells, when transplanted into the spinal cord of a mouse model with familial ALS, slow disease onset and progression while improving motor function, breathing and survival time compared to untreated mice. A summary of the studies was published online in Science Translational Medicine.

ALS is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder affecting the motor neurons in the central nervous system. As motor neurons die, the brain's ability to send signals to the body's muscles is compromised. This leads to loss of voluntary muscle movement, paralysis and eventually respiratory failure. The cause of most cases of ALS is not known.

Approximately 10 percent of cases are inherited. Though investigators at UMass Medical School and elsewhere have identified several genes shown to cause inherited or familial ALS, almost 50 percent of these cases have an unknown genetic cause.

Neural stem cells are the precursors of all brain cells. They can self-renew, making more neural stem cells, and differentiate, becoming nerve cells or other brain cells. These cells can also rescue malfunctioning nerve cells and help preserve and regenerate brain tissue. But they've never before been studied extensively in a good model of adult ALS.

In 11 independent studies, the group, headed by Dr. Evan Snyder of the Burnham Institute, transplanted neural stem cells into the spinal cord of a mouse model of ALS. The transplanted neural stem cells benefited the mice with ALS by preserving the health and function of the remaining nerve cells.

Specifically, the neural stem cells promoted the production of protective molecules that spared remaining nerve cells from destruction. They also reduced inflammation and suppressed the number of toxin-producing and disease-causing cells in the host's spinal cord.

"It is striking that the stem cells improve motor neuron viability without generating new motor neurons. These findings encourage us to explore further the role of cell therapies in ALS," said Robert Brown, MD, DPhil, a co-author on the study and chair of neurology at UMass Medical School. A leading expert in ALS, Dr. Brown led the team that discovered the first gene linked to familial ALS, a protein anti-oxidant known as superoxide dismutase, or SOD1 in 1993.




The above story is based on materials provided by University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


comments powered by Disqus


Related »

Neural 
12/20/12 

Transplanted Neural Stem Cells Treat ALS in Mouse Model
Neural 
11/3/14 

Biological Fat with a Sugar Attached Essential to Maintaining the Brain's Supply of Stem Cells
Stem 
3/25/10 

Insulin-like Signal Needed to Keep Stem Cells Alive in Adult Brain
Neurons 
6/14/11 
Brain Structure Adapts to Environmental Change
(NEW YORK, NY, June 13, 2011) – Scientists have known for years that neurogenesis takes place throughout adulthood in the hippocampus of the mammalian brain. Now Columbia researchers have …
Stem 
10/19/12 
Salk Scientists Pinpoint Key Player in Parkinson's Disease Neuron Loss
LA JOLLA, CA---- By reprogramming skin cells from Parkinson's disease patients with a known genetic mutation, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified damage to neural …
Neural 
6/8/10 

A Launchpad for Stem Cell Research
Bmp 
7/1/10 
Work-life Balance: Brain Stem Cells Need Their Rest, Too
LA JOLLA, CA—Stem cells in the brain remain dormant until called upon to divide and make more neurons. However, little has been known about the molecular guards that keep …
Neural 
4/10/13 
Spring Cleaning in Your Brain: New Stem Cell Research Shows How Important It Is
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Deep inside your brain, a legion of stem cells lies ready to turn into new brain and nerve cells whenever and wherever you need them …
More » 
 
© Newsline Group  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile