A model for bladder regeneration using stem cells has been developed by US researchers. This is a finding that could lead scientists towards new organ replacement therapies.
"Advances in the use of bone marrow stem cells taken from the patient opens up new opportunities for exploring organ replacement therapies, especially for bladder regeneration", said Dr Arun Sharma from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Children's Memorial Research Center.
The team discovered that MSCs could serve as an alternative cell source for potentially damaged bSMCs.
"We found that the mesenchymal stem cells utilized throughout the study retained the ability to populate a surgically grafted area while remaining active 10 weeks after surgery," said Sharma.
The transplanted bone marrow cells also retained the ability to express key smooth muscle cell markers, attributes that are required for the continual expansion and contractile cycles of a functional bladder.
"This newly described bladder augmentation model represents a unique insight into the bladder regeneration process and provides strong evidence that MSCs can be exploited for tissue engineering purposes," concluded Sharma.
"The non-human primate bladder augmentation model established in this study will also further provide key pre-clinical data that may eventually be translated in a clinical setting."
The research is published in Stem Cells.