Interesting remyelination results in stem cell study

Published date: 16 May 2014 at 8:19AM

New results have emerged from research into stem cell transplantation in mice, suggesting that injected human stem cells could stimulate remyelination and help to reduce inflammation in the spinal cord.

This type of therapy isn’t planned for testing in people, but could help researchers find new ways to repair the myelin damage that occurs in MS.

While the results from this study are interesting and encouraging, stem cells in MS are still experimental. It’s important to note that there is no proven stem cell therapy available for MS anywhere in the world.

The study

Researchers in California carried out an early stage research study which used a mouse model of demyelination to test the effects of stem cell transplantation.

When human stem cells were injected into the spinal cord, the mice showed improved motor function when compared to mice that didn’t receive any stem cells. Researchers also observed less inflammation and demyelination in the spinal cord tissue of these mice.

New ideas for future research

Dr Sorrel Bickley, Research Communications Officer at the MS Society, said: “This is an interesting, early-stage study that’s given scientists new ideas for future research into potential MS therapies. It’s not currently being planned for testing in people, but it’s a useful avenue for scientists to explore – we look forward to seeing how this area of research develops.”

This research was carried out at the Scripps Research Institute in California and the University of California, Irvine, and was published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

Related resources

Stem cell therapies and MS (booklet)

Research Matters - Autumn 2011

Research Matters - Spring 2011

Page last updated: 16 May 2014

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