Stem cell therapy grows new blood vessels

April 6, 2009

Research led by David Hess of the Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario has identified how to use selected stem cells from bone marrow to grow new blood vessels to treat diseases such as peripheral artery disease. It's one of the severe complications often faced by people who've had diabetes for a long time. Reduced blood flow (ischemia) in their limbs can lead to resting pain, trouble with wound healing and in severe cases, amputation. The research is published in Blood.

Hess drew human and simultaneously isolated three different types of that co-ordinate together to form new . These are called pro-angiogenic stem cells. They were purified to remove any inflammatory or contaminated cells, and then injected into the circulation of mice which had one of their leg arteries ligated and removed. The researchers showed how these stem cells have a natural ability to hone in on the area of ischemia to induce blood vessel repair and improve blood flow. Hess says this research is clinically-applicable because they studied the function of human stem cells in immune-deficient mice.

The preclinical data from Hess' research was used by a biopharmaceutical company, Aldagen to receive FDA approval for a multi-center clinical trial now underway in Houston, Texas, involving 21 patients with end-stage peripheral artery disease.

"We can select the right stem cells from the patient's own bone marrow and put them back in the area of ischemia to allow these cells to coordinate the formation of new blood vessels." says Hess, a professor in physiology and pharmacology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. "These principles could be applied not only to ischemic limbs, but to aid in the formation of new blood vessels in ischemic tissue anywhere in the body, for example after a stroke or heart attack."

Source: University of Western Ontario

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

January 16, 2018
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain.

Scientists unleash power of genetic data to identify disease risk

January 16, 2018
Massive banks of genetic information are being harnessed to shed new light on modifiable health risks that underlie common diseases.

Blood-vessel-on-a-chip provides insight into new anti-inflammatory drug candidate

January 15, 2018
One of the most important and fraught processes in the human body is inflammation. Inflammatory responses to injury or disease are crucial for recruiting the immune system to help the body heal, but inflammation can also ...

Molecule produced by fat cells reduces obesity and diabetes in mice

January 15, 2018
UC San Francisco researchers have discovered a new biological pathway in fat cells that could explain why some people with obesity are at high risk for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The new findings—demonstrated ...

Obese fat becomes inflamed and scarred, which may make weight loss harder

January 12, 2018
The fat of obese people becomes distressed, scarred and inflamed, which can make weight loss more difficult, research at the University of Exeter has found.

Optimized human peptide found to be an effective antibacterial agent

January 11, 2018
A team of researchers in the Netherlands has developed an effective antibacterial ointment based on an optimized human peptide. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes developing ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.