About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Research Offers Hope for Repairing Injured Spinal Cord Using Stem Cells

by VR Sreeraman on November 13, 2007 at 8:13 PM
Font : A-A+

Research Offers Hope for Repairing Injured Spinal Cord Using Stem Cells

A new study has identified key elements that may make the regeneration of nerve cells using the body's own stem cells following spinal cord injury a possibility.

The seminal study, co-lead by Dr. Philip Horner, neuroscientist at the University of Washington, Dr. Tim Kennedy, neuroscientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, might help in providing novel therapies for repairing previously irreversible nerve damage in the injured spinal cord.

Advertisement

In the study, the researchers tested numerous proteins and identified netrin-1 as the key molecule responsible for the migratory pattern of stem cells following injury. "Because of their regenerative role, it is crucial to understand the movements of stem cells following brain or spinal cord injury," Horner said.

"We know that stem cells are present within the spinal cord, but it was not known why they could not function to repair the damage. Surprisingly, we discovered that they actually migrate away from the lesion and the question became why - what signal is telling the stem cells to move," he said.
Advertisement

In the developing nervous system, netrin-1 acts as a repulsive or attractive signal, guiding nerve cells to their proper targets. The team found that in the adult spinal cord, netrin-1 specifically repelled stem cells away from the injury site, thereby preventing stem cells from replenishing nerve cells.

Very little knowledge is known as to why a wound to the skin repairs itself but the adult nervous system is unable to repair itself following spinal injury. This is in contrast to the developing brain and non-mammals, which can repair, and regenerate after severe injuries.

The sole clue from these systems has been the role of stem cells and their potential to develop into different cell types. "When we block netrin-1 function, the adult stem cells remain at the injury site," Kennedy said.

"This is a critical first step towards understanding the molecular events needed to repair the injured spinal cord and provides us with new targets for potential therapies," he said.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Source: ANI
LIN/P
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Stem Cells - Cord Blood Stem Cells - Fundamentals Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Genetics and Stem Cells Back Pain at Workplace: Prevention and Exercises Stem Cells Discectomy 

Recommended Reading
Stem Cells - Cord Blood
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Cord Blood...
Spinal Cord Injury - First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide
A quick and simple First Aid guide on how to administer treatment for Spinal Cord Injury....
Scientists Identify Stem Cells in Degenerating Spinal Discs
A team of Orthopedic researchers at Jefferson Medical College have identified stem cells in the ......
Brain or Spinal Injury Linked to Increased Bankruptcy Rates
In addition to neurological damage and disability, survivors of brain or spinal cord injury may ......
Back Pain at Workplace: Prevention and Exercises
Understanding the basics about our back and our posture is very important in preventing back pain an...
Stem Cells - Fundamentals
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Stem Cells...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use