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Transplanted Fat Cells Restore Function After Spinal Cord Injury

Date:
December 11, 2008
Source:
Cell Transplantation
Summary:
Fat cells, plentiful and easily obtained from adipose tissues without discomfort and grown under culture conditions as de-differentiated fat cells (DFAT), have been for the first time shown to successfully differentiate into neuronal cells in in vivo tests.
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A new study suggests that mature adipocytes - fat cells - could become a source for cell replacement therapy to treat central nervous system disorders.

According to the study's lead researcher, Dr. Yuki Ohta of the Institute of Medical Science, St. Mariana University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan, adipose-derived stem/stromal cells have in the past been shown to differentiate into neuronal cells in an in vitro setting. In their study, for the first time fat cells have been shown to successfully differentiate into neuronal cells in in vivo tests. The fat cells are grown under culture conditions that result in them becoming de-differentiated fat (DFAT) cells.

"These cells, called DFAT cells, are plentiful and can be easily obtained from adipose tissue without discomfort and represent autologous (same patient) tissue," said Ohta. "DFAT cells, with none of the features of adipocytes, do have the potential to differentiate into endothelial, neuronal or glial lineages."

The research team reported that DFAT cells expressed neurotrophic factors, such as BDNF and GDNF, prior to and after transplantation and which likely contributed to the promotion of functional recovery.

According to Ohta and colleagues, tests in animal models confirmed that the injected cells survived without the aid of immunosuppression drugs and that the DFAT-grafted animals showed significantly better motor function than controls.

"We concluded that DFAT-derived neurotrophic factors contributed to promotion of functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI)," said Ohta. "Transplanting DFAT cells into SCI rats significantly promoted the recovery of their hind limb function."

"These studies demonstrate the ability to obtain stem cells from a patient's own fat that can help repair injury to the spinal cord," said Paul R. Sanberg, PhD, DSc, at the University of South Florida Health, and Coeditor-in-chief of Cell Transplantation.

This study was published Cell Transplantation (Vol.17, No. 8.)


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Cell Transplantation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Cell Transplantation. "Transplanted Fat Cells Restore Function After Spinal Cord Injury." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210122254.htm>.
Cell Transplantation. (2008, December 11). Transplanted Fat Cells Restore Function After Spinal Cord Injury. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210122254.htm
Cell Transplantation. "Transplanted Fat Cells Restore Function After Spinal Cord Injury." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210122254.htm (accessed July 30, 2015).

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