Cellular hitchhikers aid recovery from spinal cord injury

January 8, 2018 by Bill Hathaway, Yale University
Credit: Yale University

The healing effects of stem cells in spinal cord injury can be aided by their ability to hitch intercellular rides to specific anti-inflammatory cells called M2 macrophages, Yale researchers report.

Yale University researchers had previously shown that harvested from bone marrow helped repair spinal cord injury in rats; however, many of the cells did not reach their target injury site.

The study by the Yale team, headed by neuroscientists Jeffery Kocsis and Karen Lankford, shows how properties from can be carried to the macrophages by intercellular cargo vesicles called exosomes. There, the stem cell-derived exosomes may aid macrophages to repair ruptures in the blood-brain barrier that can wreak havoc with the central nervous system.

The report appears Jan. 5 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Explore further: Using donor stem cells to treat spinal cord injury

More information: Karen L. Lankford et al. Intravenously delivered mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes target M2-type macrophages in the injured spinal cord, PLOS ONE (2018). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190358

Related Stories

Using donor stem cells to treat spinal cord injury

August 28, 2017
A new study in mice published in The Journal of Neuroscience details a potential therapeutic strategy that uses stem cells to promote recovery of motor activity after spinal cord injury.

Paraplegic rats walk and regain feeling after stem cell treatment

November 16, 2017
Engineered tissue containing human stem cells has allowed paraplegic rats to walk independently and regain sensory perception. The implanted rats also show some degree of healing in their spinal cords. The research, published ...

Stem cell transplants may advance ALS treatment by repair of blood-spinal cord barrier

May 15, 2017
Researchers at the University of South Florida show in a new study that bone marrow stem cell transplants helped improve motor functions and nervous system conditions in mice with the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ...

Study first to identify the cells driving gecko's ability to re-grow its tail

November 2, 2017
A University of Guelph researcher is the first to discover the type of stem cell that is behind the gecko's ability to re-grow its tail, a finding that has implications for spinal cord treatment in humans.

New literature review assesses benefits of stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries

April 29, 2016
Stem cell therapy is a rapidly evolving and promising treatment for spinal-cord injuries. According to a new literature review, published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS), ...

Evidence for spinal membrane as a source of stem cells may advance spinal cord treatment

October 28, 2011
Italian and Spanish scientists studying the use of stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries have provided the first evidence to show that meninges, the membrane which envelops the central nervous system, is a potential ...

Recommended for you

Noninvasive spinal stimulation method enables paralyzed people to regain use of hands, study finds

April 26, 2018
The ability to perform simple daily tasks can make a big difference in people's lives, especially for those with spinal cord injuries. A UCLA-led team of scientists reports that six people with severe spinal cord injuries—three ...

Noninvasive brain tumor biopsy on the horizon

April 26, 2018
Taking a biopsy of a brain tumor is a complicated and invasive surgical process, but a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is developing a way that allows them to detect tumor biomarkers through a simple ...

New link between sleep arousals and body temperature may also be connected to SIDS

April 25, 2018
Brief arousals during sleep—sometimes as many as ten to fifteen per night—appear random in time and occur in humans and even in animals.

Lab-on-a-chip delivers critical immunity data for vulnerable populations

April 25, 2018
For millions of displaced people around the world—many of them refugees, living in temporary shelters under crowded conditions—an outbreak of disease is devastating. Each year, the measles virus kills more than 134,000 ...

Ethics debate overdue in human brain research: experts

April 25, 2018
What if human brain tissue implanted into a pig transferred some of the donor's self-awareness and memories?

Want new medicines? You need fundamental research

April 25, 2018
Would we be wise to prioritize "shovel-ready" science over curiosity-driven, fundamental research programs? Would that set the stage for the discovery of more new medicines over the long term?

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.