Stem Cell Treatment for Muscle Injuries? Can stem cell therapy cure muscle injuries? A recent experiment involving mice suggests that it can. However, whether the same positive results seen in experimental mice can be replicated among human patients remains a question.
When stem cells were injected into mice with muscle injuries, the muscles were not only restored but also grew twice as large. This finding, by researchers from the University of Colorado, may help the medical community find new treatments to muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy. It might also pave a way for people to resist muscle erosion due to aging.
The study, reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that the injured muscles of young mice which were injected with stem cells from young donor mice increased in size by 170 percent. Additionally, the new muscles lasted during the mice’s lifetime – about two years.
Bradley Olwin of University of Colorado, co-author of the study, was excited about the result. He told Reuters:
“This was a very exciting and unexpected result. We found that the transplanted stem cells are permanently altered and reduce the aging of the transplanted muscle, maintaining strength and mass. When the muscles were examined two years later, we found the procedure permanently changed the transplanted cells, making them resistant to the aging process in the muscle.”
Olwin also makes clear that there is a difference in injecting stem cells to injured muscles from injecting stem cells to healthy muscles. He says that when they injected stem cells into a healthy leg, they did not get the same effect. Adds Olwin: “The environment that the stem cells are injected into is very important, because when it tells the cells there is an injury, they respond in a unique way.”
Want more stories about stem cell therapy? Check out our post on Stem Cell Therapy For Back Pain.
Stem Cell Treatment for Muscle Injuries? Posted 1 December 2010.