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

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Research reveals atomic-level changes in ALS-linked protein

January 18, 2018
For the first time, researchers have described atom-by-atom changes in a family of proteins linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a group of brain disorders known as frontotemporal dementia and degenerative diseases ...

Fragile X finding shows normal neurons that interact poorly

January 18, 2018
Neurons in mice afflicted with the genetic defect that causes Fragile X syndrome (FXS) appear similar to those in healthy mice, but these neurons fail to interact normally, resulting in the long-known cognitive impairments, ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

How your brain remembers what you had for dinner last night

January 17, 2018
Confirming earlier computational models, researchers at University of California San Diego and UC San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Arizona and Louisiana, report that episodic memories are encoded in the hippocampus ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

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.