Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a failing disease that affects the central nervous system,media New Atlas reported. Now, a new study from the University of Rochester suggests that by transplanting certain brain cells, the effects may be prevented or even reversed in mice.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin, a membrane that wraps around the axons of nerve cells, and less protrusive glial cells that wrap around the axons in the central nervous system and form an insulated myelin structure. As this myelin disappears, the signal becomes lost and interrupted, leading to sensory, motor, and cognitive problems that are characteristic of the disease.
So for the new study, the researchers set out to find a way to replenish these less protogliaclymic cells. First, they manipulated the chemical signals of stem cells to produce a brain cell called glial. They then isolated a subtype of one of these cells called glial progenitor cells, which in turn produced new, less protoscoccal cells.
In the test, the team then transplanted these glial progenitor cells into mice affected by MS. As hoped, these cells are observed migrating to places in the brain where they are needed, and then producing new oligosagen serocells. These cells, in turn, help replenish the missing myelin. Better yet, the motor function of these treated mice appears to have been restored.
“These findings suggest that by transplanting human glial cells, we can effectively re-myelize the adult brain,” said Steve Goldman, lead author of the study. “These findings are therapeuticand and represent a proof-of-concept of future clinical trials of multiple sclerosis and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases. “
Other studies have found similar success in various ways. This includes introducing new stem cells or reactivating existing stem cells, injecting nanoparticles, turning off the immune response to myelin, and using other synthetic molecules to repair damage. The team says the technology is currently under early review by the FDA for clinical trials.
The study was published in the journal Cell Reports.