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Mice stem cells used to treat sheep

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    Mice stem cells used to treat sheep

    Mice stem cells used to treat sheep

    Scientists in France have announced that stem cells from mice have been used for the first time to repair heart damage in larger animals.

    The health of nine sheep that had suffered heart attacks improved after scientists implanted them with embryonic stem cells.
    More on the above link.
    I know what some of you think about all the animal studies ongoing, but any positive research when it comes to embryonic stem cell research is important. Leif
    Last edited by Leif; 16 Sep 2005, 10:55 AM.

    Embryonic stem cells repair broken hearts

    16:17 16 September 2005 news service
    Anna Gosline
    <LI>Embryonic stem cells from mice can patch up damaged heart muscle in sheep. With hopes of using less controversial, adult-derived stem cells now appearing shaky, the results could pave the way for effective treatments for heart disease in people.

    “It’s clear now that adult stem cells are unable to become myocardial [heart muscle] cells,” says co-author Michel Puceat at the Macromolecular Biochemistry Research Centre in Montpellier, France. “This would have been the best cell population, because they come from the patient, but there is no doubt that embryonic stem cells are much better.”

    Heart disease is among the leading killers in developed countries. Research teams around the globe have attempted to use adult stem cells - which are usually taken from a patient’s bone marrow where they are destined to become blood cells - to repair damaged heart tissue.

    But experts have questioned whether adult stem cells possess the necessary flexibility to morph into real cardiac tissue and repair damage. Any positive findings may simply be a byproduct of injecting more cells into a damaged area, which increases blood supply, they say.

    So Claudine Menard, also at the centre, and her colleagues wanted to see whether embryonic stem cells (ESCs) could yield better results. These cells have the potential to grow into any kind of tissue. Previous studies have found that ESCs could repair the broken hearts of rodents. But whether the success could be repeated in a larger mammal that has more in common with humans was still unknown.

    The team induced heart attacks in 18 sheep. Two weeks later, nine of the sheep received multiple injections of ESCs around the scarred areas on their hearts. Mouse cells were used because, along with humans, they are among the only animals for which ESC lines exist. Prior to transplantation, the stem cells were cultured with growth factors that directed them to develop into heart cells.

    Five of the treated sheep were also given immunosuppressant drugs to control for the possibility that the mouse cells would be rejected. The stem cells were tagged with fluorescent proteins so the researchers could track their progress.

    After one month, the team found that the stem cells had colonised the scarred area in the heart, successfully developing into heart tissue. Heart function improved in the treated group: the left ventricle – the main pumping chamber of the heart - increased its ejection rate by nearly 10%. The control group lost 6.6% of left ventricle function during the same time.

    What is more, the team saw no sign that the mouse cells were being rejected by the sheep’s immune system. “It is very promising and encouraging if we don’t have to worry so much about rejection,” says developmental geneticist Robin Lovell-Badge at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, UK. “But we need to be cautious.” Other tissues might reject the stem cells. Furthermore, the team only followed the sheep for one month after transplant. It could take longer before the signs of rejection become noticeable, says Lovell-Badge.

    This proof of concept is welcome news to Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation. “Despite much public hope that delivery of stem cells will provide an effective way to mend hearts damaged after a heart attack, the few human clinical studies so far have not been well controlled or long-lasting,” he says. “This animal study, although small, is important because it confirms that embryonic stem cells can be used successfully, and shows these cells do form beating heart cells.”

    Journal reference: The Lancet (vol 366 p 1005)


      Mice stem cells used to treat sheep

      11:00 - 17 September 2005 Scientists have used stem cells taken from mouse embryos to repair heart damage in sheep.

      The research strengthens the possibility of one day using embryonic stem cells to repair failing human hearts, it is claimed.

      Previously embryonic stem (ES) cells have successfully been used to limit heart failure in rodents.


        I believe stories like this should be in great favour for allowing research on human embryonic stem cells. Those against can no longer say that embryonic stem cells will not produce a cure. I find it very strange that some people just want to allow researcher to do research on human stem cells and not embryonic stem cells.

        For me that will be something like this; you take a string and run it through a keyhole in a door between two rooms. Then you take a scientist and place him in one of the rooms and ask the scientist about the total length of the string without allowing him to go into the other room?



          Hope for stem cell treatments after success in sheep trial
          Mike Waites
          Health Correspondent

          Treatments using stem cells to repair heart disease have been brought a step closer by scientists who have used cells from mice to repair heart damage in sheep.
          Stem cells are the body's "mother" cells and scientists have speculated they could play an increasingly important role in treating a range of illnesses from neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease to diabetes.
          Research published today in the Lancet medical journal confirms earlier work that suggests stem cells could also be used to repair tissue damaged following a heart attack.
          It also raises the possibility that cells could even be transplanted between species.
          Scientists in Montpellier, France, say they took embryonic stem cells from mice which had healthy heart tissues.
          These were given to nine sheep which had damaged heart tissues.
          A month later the sheep had healthier heart tissue compared with another nine who did not receive the stem-cell transplantation.
          The cells were not rejected or become cancerous as had been feared – strengthening the possibility that stem cells could one day be used to repair heart cells in humans.
          In the study, the scientists led by Claudine Menard said: "Our results provide an additional proof of concept for the cardiac-regenerating capacity of embryonic stem cells and unravel new perspectives pertaining to the therapeutic use of these cells in different individuals and even, perhaps, different species."
          Scientists are examining the use of stem cells across a wide range of areas by programming them to perform different functions. Those harvested from early-stage human embryos have the potential to become any kind of tissue in the body from bones to brains.
          Scientists in London were last year given permission to test a procedure using stem cells on patients with heart disease.
          Last month the fertility expert Lord Winston urged caution, warning many obstacles in their use remained.
          16 September 2005
          Matt , Thailand.

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