Applications of stem cells to fight diseases are already consistent. Adaptability allow them to become almost everything that researchers are proposed. The latter case is that of the University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists(USA), which for the first time have transformed stem cells into nerve cells to help mice regain the ability to learn and remember.
In the brain, stem cells are neurons associated with emotions, memory or addictionWith their research, published in Nature Biotechnology these experts showed that human stem cells can be implemented successfully in the brain to heal neurological deficiencies. It is what ensures Su-Chun Zhang, Professor of neuroscience and Neurology, and lead author of the study with Professor Yan Liu.
Once inside the mouse brain, the implanted stem cells form two vital common types of neurons. “These two types of neurons are involved in many kinds of human behavior, such as emotions, learning, memory, addiction and many other psychiatric problems,” says Zhang.
The stem cell embryonic were grown in the laboratory and used chemicals that are known to promote development in the nerve cells. After the transplant, the rodents were a significantly better score on common tests of learning and memory in mice with damage deliberate in a part of the brain involved in learning and memory.
Create good cells and prevent the tumor
The transplanted cells were placed in the hippocampus, a key memory Center. After the transferred cells are implanted, in response to the chemical instructions from the brain, they began to specialize and connect with the appropriate hippocampal cells.
The process is similar to the removal of a section of telephone cable, according to Zhang. “If you can find the correct path, connect the replacement of either end”, puts this expert as an example.
Although tempting, therapy is unlikely that have an immediate benefitMake sure that almost all of the transplanted cells became neural cells was critical, says Zhang. “That means that we may be able to predict what will be the progeny and reduces the chance for any future use in therapy, injecting stem cells that could form tumors”, says.
In many other transplant experiments, early progenitor cell injection resulted in masses of tumour cells. But Zhang explains that “this did not happen in our case since the transplanted cells are pure and committed to a particular destination, so do not generate nothing more. We have to be sure that the cancer cells are not injected”.
Although tempting, stem cell therapy is unlikely that have an immediate benefit. Zhang points out that “for many psychiatric disorders, don’t know what part of the brain has malfunctioned” but the new study, says this expert, it is more likely to let see an immediate application in the creation of models for the detection and drug discovery.