1. Arthritis in Dogs Cured with Stem Cells
Chinese veterinarians at the Thai Yang Animal Hospital in China wanted to see what exactly happens when umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells are used to treat osteoarthritis in dogs. Would it be the best stem cell treatment for the arthritis? And if it worked for dogs, is it possible it would work for humans as well?
They injected 1 million allogeneic stem cells into the joints of dogs. Some dogs were in the group that received the stem cells while other dogs with arthritis didn’t get the stem cell treatments. The stem cell treatments occurred on days 1 and 3 of the study. The vets then took MRIs, ultrasound studies, and x-rays of the joints on the 3 rd , 7 th , 14 th , and 28 th days after treatment. Blood tests were also taken to see which types of cells were in the blood. An electron microscopic evaluation was additionally done on day 35.
They found that the umbilical cord stem cells injected into the joints differentiated into fat cells and bone building cells. Over time, the free space and defects in the bone filled in and the regular parts of the bone thickened. The inflammation in the area of the arthritis lessened and the cartilage showed new cells forming and new tissue fibers forming. The dogs were getting better.
That’s not all they found. The joint fluid was restored in the arthritic joints. The damaged skin connective tissue was recovered, and muscles around the joints also were healing. The cartilage was repairing as well as the surrounding tissues. The veterinarians now had some happy dogs to take care of!
All that happened from stem cells – and it can be expected to occur in humans as well.
2. New Way Found To Multiply The Number of Umbilical Cord Stem Cells
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered a way to expand the numbers of stem cells in umbilical cord blood. This is important
because there’s a defined number of stem cells that can be derived from the umbilical cord. You can’t get more stem cells than this defined number.
By using growth factors, the number of stem cells can be multiplied. The doctors reported that by encouraging one of the glycolysis pathways to occur in the blood, the number of stem cells expanded greatly. Glycolysis is the breakdown of glucose for energy. Is it that the stem cells need the glucose as energy? We’ll all find out soon.
3. Stem Cell Therapy Now Considered an Effective Treatment for Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury, Say Chinese Researchers
Scientists in the USA say that stem cell treatments are not effective for traumatic spinal cord injury but scientists in China state the exact opposite. They are – although there are still some things to overcome.
The problems at hand are how to insure that the stem cells that are transplanted survive, how to make sure that the stem cells become the proper types of stem cells and how to prevent any potential tumor formation.
The Chinese discovered from recent studies that stem cells act therapeutically by responding to paracrine effects. “Paracrine” means relating to or denoting a hormone or substance that has an effect only in the vicinity of the gland or adjacent cells secreting it.
Download our free Stem Cell 101 educational report today!
Paracrine signaling is “a form of cell-to-cell communication in which a cell produces a signal to induce changes in nearby cells, altering the behavior of those cells.” Thus the stem cells have to communicate with each other either by direct contact or indirect contact. This is how they end up displaying their therapeutic effects.
In the Journal of Neurotrauma, Chinese scientists reported that exosomes are an important paracrine factor that can be used therapeutically when stem cells are transplanted. These are vesicles that come from the cell when multivesicular bodies fuse with the plasma membrane or are released directly from the plasma membrane. Exosomes look like small rounded objects. They are filled with RNA and proteins and are involved in intracellular communication.
The scientists used exosomes derived from bone marrow stem cells to discover if they might be the best stem cell treatment for regeneration of the spinal cord. They found that these specific bone marrow cells had a lot of exceptional qualities:
• They helped new blood vessel formation in the area and increased the diameter of the blood vessels on average by nearly 60%.
• They diminished the number of neural cells that were dying by 70%.
• They suppressed the scar formation by the glial cells of the nervous system by 75%.
• They lessened the size of the spinal cord traumatic injury by 60%.
• They suppressed inflammation
• They promoted regeneration of the axons by almost 80% at day 28.
• They eventually improved the functional recovery effects after a spinal cord injury.
These weren’t all the positive things that occurred with these bone marrow stem cell exosomes. In lab tests, the scientists confirmed the following:
• The exosomes significantly enhanced human umbilical vein endothelial cell replication, migration to the site where they were needed, and the formation of blood vessels in the new location.
• The exosomes lessened the rate of death of the nervous system cells.
• They suppressed nitric oxide release by the microglial cells.
• They suppressed inflammation efficiently after a traumatic spinal cord injury.
• They stopped the activation of A1 neurotoxic reactive astrocytes. These are brain cells that lose their ability to survive, grow, adapt to what’s happening, form new synapses, and engulf foreign matter. The presence of these cells induces the death of other neurons and oligodendrocytes.
What’s the bottom line? According to the Chinese, these bone marrow exosomes may be a promising strategy for cases of traumatic spinal cord injury.
Join our Stem Cell Discussion & Information Facebook Group today!
4. Vitamin D Plays a Role in Stem Cell Regeneration
There’s a term in regenerative medicine you may not know yet called “erythroid progeny”. It’s actually a simple term although it looks a bit threatening. Erythroid progeny means the red blood cells that come from a parent red blood cell (stem cell).
Doctors at the Black Family Stem Cell Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York discovered that the vitamin D receptor gene was found in fetal and adult stages of red blood cell stem cells. However, it wasn’t there in the embryonic stage. The vitamin D receptor was found in the erythroid progenitors and downregulated during their maturation.
When the vitamin D form of calcitriol was present, the red blood cell stem cells increased their numbers from fetal liver and adult bone marrow. They also delayed the maturation of the red blood cells, keeping their ability toform any type of needed red blood cell.
When the vitamin D receptor was knocked down, then calcitriol was unable to increase the numbers of the stem cells or delay the maturation of them.
The scientists concluded that these findings suggest that
vitamin D rececptors have a distinct function in early erythroid progenitors and that it’s possible that by targeting some of the other components of the vitamin D receptor signaling process such as calcitriol, vitamin D3, and glucocorticoid receptor ligands, the number of red blood stem cells can be greatly expanded. It’s possible that there’s a connection between vitamin D deficiency and why some people don’t respond fully to stem cell therapy like others do.