Tag Archives: University of California San Francisco

Scientists Aim to Use Embryonic Stem Cells for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, by definition, is difficult to manage, but a new study by UCSF scientists shows how a cell therapy might one day be used not only to quell some common types of persistent and difficult-to-treat pain, but also to cure the conditions that give rise to them.

The researchers, working with mice, focused on treating chronic pain that arises from nerve injury — so-called neuropathic pain.

In their study, published in the May 24, 2012 issue of Neuron, the scientists transplanted immature embryonic nerve cells that arise in the brain during development and used them to make up for a
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Stem Cell Survival Strategy Is Key to Blood and Immune System Health

Stem cells of the aging bone marrow recycle their own molecules to survive and keep replenishing the blood and immune systems as the body ages, researchers at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered.

The recycling process, known as autophagy, or self-eating, involves reusing molecules and the chemical energy obtained from these molecules to withstand the killing effect of metabolic stress that intensifies as the body ages.

The discovery, reported online Feb. 6 in the journal Nature, showed that autophagy allows stem cells to avoid the alternative response to stress, which is programmed cellular suicide, in which cells that aren’t
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Scientists Identify Critical Process in Stem Cell Development

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that environmental factors critically influence the growth of a type of stem cell — called an iPS cell — that is derived from adult skin cells. This discovery offers newfound understanding of how these cells form, while also advancing science closer to stem cell-based therapies to combat disease.

Researchers in the laboratory of Gladstone Senior Investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, have for the first time shown that protein factors released by other cells affect the “reprogramming” of adult cells into stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. The scientists
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Stem Cells May Offer New Hope For Alzheimer’s

A team of scientists has discovered what could be a novel source for researching and potentially treating Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions involving the destruction of brain cells.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes converted skin cells from mice and humans into brain stem cells with the use of a protein called Sox2. Using only this protein to transform the skin cells into neuron stem cells is unusual. Normally, the conversion process is much more complex.

Scientists Reprogram Skin Cells into Brain Cells

Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes have for the first time transformed skin cells — with a single genetic factor — into cells that develop on their own into an interconnected, functional network of brain cells.

The research offers new hope in the fight against many neurological conditions because scientists expect that such a transformation — or reprogramming — of cells may lead to better models for testing drugs for devastating neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

This research comes at a time of renewed focus on Alzheimer’s disease, which currently afflicts 5.4 million people in the United States alone —
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