February 22, 2024

Paralyzed monkeys walk with iPS cells, say Japanese scientists

Step closer to success with humans

latest good news on the stem cell front involves induced pluripotent stem (iPS)
cells. A team of Japanese researchers say that paralyzed marmoset monkeys are
walking again after iPS cells were injected into their spines. This appears to
be the first time the treatment has succeeded in a primate subject and brings
success in humans one step closer.

procedure was carried out by researchers from Keio University and the Central
Institute for Experimental Animals. About a month after the transplant the
marmosets could both stand on their hind legs and grip things with their hands.
Apparently the transplanted cells became nerve cells and regenerated the damaged
spinal tissue. After three months, none of the marmosets had developed tumors. “The
marmosets have dramatically recovered from their injuries to the extent that
they can repeatedly jump,” said researcher Hideyuki Okano.

is a hitch. It can take 6 months or more to create iPS cells and recent
accident victims need to be treated urgently. The Japanese researchers hope to
set up an iPS cell bank which will make stem cells available on demand. ~ Mainichi Daily News, Dec 8

Michael Cook
spinal cord injury
stem cells