May 20, 2024

Adult stem cells from nose can morph into brain cells

Australian discovery
Alan Mackay-SimAnd in another stem cell development, Australian researchers have found that adult stem cells harvested from stem cells from the olfactory nerve in the nose give rise to dopamine-producing brain cells when transplanted into the brain of a rat.

"The lesions to one side of the brain made the rats run in circles," said project leader Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, of Griffith University in Brisbane. "When stem cells from the nose of Parkinson’s patients were cultured and injected into the damaged area the rats re-acquired the ability to run in a straight line. All animals transplanted with the human cells had a dramatic reduction in the rate of rotation within just 3 weeks… This provided evidence the cells had differentiated to give rise to dopamine-producing neurons influenced by being in the environment of the brain. In-vitro tests also revealed the presence of dopamine. Significantly, none of the transplants led to formation of tumours or teratomas in the host rats as has occurred after embryonic stem cell transplantation in a similar model.”

The advantage of using a patient’s own cells is that, unlike stem cells from a foreign embryo, they are not rejected by the patient’s immune system, so patients are free from a lifetime of potentially dangerous immuno-suppressant drug therapy. ~ Cell News, June 6; Griffith University