Thursday, November 1, 2007

Another Source of Adult Stem Cells

More advancements in stem cell research where researchers have found another source of adult stem cells that may hold the potential for clinical use:
For the first time, researchers have found stem cells within the intervertebral discs of the human spine.

They say it may someday be possible to use these stem cells to help repair degenerating discs in order to treat neck and lower back pain.

He noted that other researchers have used bone marrow stem cells to create new bone, cartilage and fat tissue.

"Our next step is to activate these disc stem cells and get them to repopulate the disc and make proteoglycans and restore the water binding," Shapiro said.

While the stem cells are present in degenerated discs, the researchers suspect there may be molecules blocking stem cell activity that could repair the discs. They said further research is required to learn more about these inhibitory molecules and to find ways to block their activity and promote natural healing of damaged discs.


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