In a study at the University of California, San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare, researchers were able to regenerate “an astonishing degree” of axonal growth at the site of severe spinal cord injury in rats. Their research revealed that early stage neurons have the ability to survive and extend axons to form new, functional neuronal relays across an injury site in the adult central nervous system (CNS).
The study also proved that at least some types of adult CNS axons can overcome a normally inhibitory growth environment to grow over long distances. Importantly, stem cells across species
Dr. Karen Aboody estimates that she has cured several hundred mice of a cancer of the central nervous system called neuroblastoma.
First she injected them with specialized neural stem cells that naturally zero in on the tumors and surround them. Then she administered an anti-cancer agent that the cells converted into a highly toxic drug (…)
For 3 1/2 years, the agency focused on the basic groundwork needed to someday use human embryonic stem cells to replace body parts damaged by injury or disease. Such cures are still far in the future.
Now the institute has a more immediate goal: boosting therapies
Stem cells from the brain could be transplanted into the ear to cure hearing loss.
Often, age and overstimulation can damage ciliated cells that act like small microphones, allowing us to hear sounds, noise, and voices and are located in the deep ear (cochlea). About 10% of people experience damage to the cells in this area which leads to hearing loss. The loss of these cells is irreversible, but according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a group of scientists from the University of California substituted them with stem cells taken from another area
The central nervous system (CNS) contains a diverse set of neuronal subtypes, which together form the complex circuitry that regulates virtually every life function. To maintain normal body function, several systems in mammals require the simultaneous operation of a variety of neuronal subtypes, each sending different endocrine and paracrine messages to the brain. One such system is that of leptin signaling in the hypothalamus.
Leptin signaling regulates energy balance, glucose levels, food intake, and body weight. In recent work, Jeffrey Macklis, MD, Leader of HSCI’s Nervous System Diseases Program, introduced functional neurons into the hypothalami of mice with faulty leptin
Last year, Japanese researchers announced that the first human patient would be treated with induced pluripotent stem cells in an attempt to reverse a degenerative eye condition called macular degeneration that leads to vision loss.
Now, a team of scientists headed by biologists at UC San Diego has discovered how induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are derived from an individual’s own cells, could be programmed to avoid rejection from the immune system.
Their findings, published online ahead of print in the journal Cell Stem Cell, show that iPS cells can differentiate or change into various types of functional cells with