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Thread: Monkeys' spinal injuries eased by using stem cells

  1. #1

    Monkeys' spinal injuries eased by using stem cells

    Monkeys' spinal injuries eased by using stem cell

    .c Kyodo News Service


    TOKYO, Dec. 10 (Kyodo) - A group of doctors at Keio University in Tokyo have succeeded in restoring mobility to monkeys crippled with spinal cord injuries by transplanting neural stem cells obtained from the spinal cords of fetuses, one of the doctors said Monday.

    Hideyuki Okano, a professor at the medical department of Keio University and leader of the group, said that while the injured spinal cords were not cured, the result of their experiment may have opened the door to curing such injuries in humans.

    According to Okano, his group extracted neural stem cells from dead fetuses and multiplied them in test tubes to transplant them to five marmosets who had lost mobility of hands and feet because of spinal cord injury.

    The ability of the monkeys to grip sticks was less than 10% that of healthy monkeys but eight weeks after the transplant of the cells, the ability rose to nearly 50%, Okano said.

    The group believes the mobility was recovered after the neural stem cells grew into nerve cells and connected neural circuits which had been cut off by the injury to the spinal cord.

    The doctors say the success of the transplants was ensured by choosing a specific time, as they knew that transplanting the cell immediately after the injury was unsuccessful because of inflammation, as happened in previous experiments on the marmosets.

    The group transplanted the neural stem cells when the inflammation died down and before the symptoms of immobility becomes chronic, Okano said.

    AP-NY-12-10-01 0154EST

    .c Kyodo News Service


    TOKYO, Dec. 10 (Kyodo) - A group of doctors at Keio University in Tokyo have succeeded in restoring mobility to monkeys crippled with spinal cord injuries by transplanting neural stem cells obtained from the spinal cords of fetuses, one of the doctors said Monday.

    Hideyuki Okano, a professor at the medical department of Keio University and leader of the group, said that while the injured spinal cords were not cured, the result of their experiment may have opened the door to curing such injuries in humans.

    According to Okano, his group extracted neural stem cells from dead fetuses and multiplied them in test tubes to transplant them to five marmosets who had lost mobility of hands and feet because of spinal cord injury.

    The ability of the monkeys to grip sticks was less than 10% that of healthy monkeys but eight weeks after the transplant of the cells, the ability rose to nearly 50%, Okano said.

    The group believes the mobility was recovered after the neural stem cells grew into nerve cells and connected neural circuits which had been cut off by the injury to the spinal cord.

    The doctors say the success of the transplants was ensured by choosing a specific time, as they knew that transplanting the cell immediately after the injury was unsuccessful because of inflammation, as happened in previous experiments on the marmosets.

    The group transplanted the neural stem cells when the inflammation died down and before the symptoms of immobility becomes chronic, Okano said.

    AP-NY-12-10-01 0154EST

  2. #2

    more details

    LEAD: Spinal injuries in monkeys eased using human stem cells

    .c Kyodo News Service


    TOKYO, Dec. 10 (Kyodo) - (EDS: ADDING DETAILS)

    A group of Japanese doctors has for the first time ever succeeded in restoring mobility to monkeys crippled with spinal cord injuries through transplants of neural stem cells from the spinal cords of human fetuses, one of the doctors said Monday.

    Hideyuki Okano, a professor in the medical department of Tokyo's Keio University and the leader of the group, said that although the monkeys' spinal cords were not cured, the result of the experiment may have opened the door to curing spinal cord injuries in humans.

    Neural stem cells are found in the human brain and spinal cord. They are anaplastic cells that grow into nerve cells.

    Injuring the spine by damaging nerves in the spinal cord causes paralysis, such as in the hands and legs. Some 5,000 people injure their spines each year.

    Recovering from spinal cord injuries is said to be difficult after symptoms become chronic.

    Okano said his group extracted neural stem cells from dead fetuses and multiplied them in test tubes. The group then transplanted the cells into five marmosets who had lost mobility in their hands and feet due to spinal cord injuries.

    The monkeys' ability to grip sticks had been less than 10% that of healthy monkeys, Okano said. But eight weeks after the transplant, their ability rose to nearly 50%, he said.

    The group believes the mobility was recovered after the neural stem cells grew into nerve cells and connected neural circuits cut by the spinal cord injuries.

    The doctors say the success of the transplants was ensured by choosing a specific time. They knew transplanting the cells right after the injury was unsuccessful due to inflammation, as this happened in previous experiments on the marmosets.

    The group transplanted the neural stem cells when the inflammation died down but before the symptoms of immobility became chronic, Okano said.

    In a similar experiment Okano's group conducted earlier with rats, the group succeeded in recovering the mobility of rats with spinal injuries, according to the group.

    The latest experiment was conducted after the ethics committees of the university and other institutions involved in the experiment approved it, the group added.

    ''Next time, we would like to consider effective cure methods during the chronic period once time has passed after the injury,'' Okano said.

    AP-NY-12-10-01 0743EST

  3. #3

    Seneca

    Great post. I wonder if there's additional info available or if it will be published? Sounds similar to the recent chinese experiment that I believe jgiambro posted last week. Maybe the 'East'is on to something we westerners should pursue?

    Does anyone here follow eastern medicine closely and if so are there any therapies available besides Cheng?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    I love it

    I just wonder how long until their chronic studies begin. Asia looks like the place to be!

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  5. #5
    Senior Member kngtreeman's Avatar
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    THIS SOUNDS TO ME LIKE ITS HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.IS THEIR A LINK TO THE SITE OR THE PEAPLE PERFORMING THIS

    scott r

  6. #6

    functional regeneration

    Regarding the most exciting areas of science, stem cells is just one of several important and rapidly advancing areas. I was trying to list all the treatments that have now been reported to regenerate the spinal cord of animals. Here is some of them just off the top of my head:

    • IN-1 antibody (which blocks Nogo)
    • Neurotrophins (which raises cAMP)
    • Chondroitinase ABC (which breaks down CSPG in extracellular space)
    • Rolipram (inhibitor of CNS phosphodiesterase 4 which increase cAMP levels and stimulates regeneration)
    • Nogo fragments (which block the Nogo receptor)
    • C3 (bacterial toxin that blocks Rho, the intracellular messenger that mediates the inhibitory effects of Nogo and Mag on axonal regeneration)
    • Electrical currents (apparently increases cAMP)
    • A wide variety of cell adhesion molecules and biopolymers that support axonal growth
    • Peripheral nerve bridges from white matter to gray matter (thereby avoid white matter inhibitors)

    Please note that stem cells, while they are very exciting and have the potential to improve the environment for axonal growth in the spinal cord and remyelinate the spinal cord, as well as replace neurons that have been damaged, they have not yet been shown to support functional regeneration in animal spinal cord injury models.

  7. #7

    recovered motor functioning of the animals' legs.

    does ESC or other cells enables motor functioning?

    NEW YORK, Dec 04 (Reuters Health) - New animal research suggests that the window of opportunity for treating a spinal cord injury may be greater than traditionally thought.

    In fact, the research in rats showed that an experimental treatment for spinal cord injuries that aims to regenerate nerve tissue and improve motor functioning may be more effective if administered after a delay rather than immediately after the injury.

    "Surprisingly, the amount of recovery was greater in the animals that received the delayed treatment than the immediate treatment," lead author Dr. Barbara S. Bregman of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, told Reuters Health. "The windows of opportunity (for treatment) may be far more wide than we have anticipated."

    The researchers were testing whether delivering embryonic nerve tissues and growth factors to lab rats with severed spinal cords would stimulate the regrowth of nerve cells and allow for recovered motor functioning of the animals' legs.

    The investigators transplanted spinal cord tissue taken from embryonic rats and administered nerve growth factors known as neurotrophins to one group of animals shortly after spinal injury and to a separate group up to 4 weeks later.

    Bregman and colleagues found that the animals that received both the nerve tissue and either neurotrophin-3 or brain-derived neurotrophic factor were able to regrow nerve fibers across the original injury site. In addition, the animals that received delayed treatment were more likely to experience regrowth of nerve fibers than those who received treatment immediately.

    The findings were published in the December 1st issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

    Animals that received delayed treatment also showed more motor functioning a month later compared with those who received treatment immediately. For example, 50% of the animals that received delayed treatment showed some ability to support their weight on their hindquarters either some or all of the time, compared with only one quarter of animals that received immediate treatment.

    Bregman suggests that one possible reason for the success of the delayed treatment involves a "conditioning" effect: when the nerve tissue is introduced after a period of time, scar tissue becomes re-injured, which has been shown previously to help induce healing.

    Although these findings are currently limited to lab animals, Bregman said they indicate that the time frame for treating patients with these injuries may be longer than was previously imagined.

    "It gives us a new way of thinking about spinal cord injury," she said. "There's no magic bullet. A variety of treatments in different time windows may be required to increase the likelihood of regrowth and recovery."

    SOURCE: Journal of Neuroscience 2001;21:9334-9344.

  8. #8
    A lot of us here have suggested re-injuring the site to achieve recovery from some of the acute treatments. We must have been on to something.

    "....scar tissue becomes re-injured, which has been shown previously to help induce healing."

    I think the folks over at Diacrin already know that stem cells have the ability to promote recovery in chronic injuries. I suppose if scientists would share their info., duplicate studies such as the one below wouldn't be necessary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    Dr. Young In the article it says

    "The doctors say the success of the transplants was ensured by choosing a specific time, as they knew that transplanting the cell immediately after the injury was unsuccessful because of inflammation, as happened in previous experiments on the marmosets."

    How long after the injury do you think they would have had to wait?

    "If the wind could blow my troubles away. I'd stand in front of a hurricane."

  10. #10

    funtional recovery

    I want to know whether kind of stem cell promotes functional regeneration or not ?

    "they have not yet been shown to support functional regeneration in animal spinal cord injury models."

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