Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seaweed And Fireflies Brew May Guide Stem Cell Treatment For Peripheral Artery Disease

Date:
March 16, 2009
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
An unlikely brew of seaweed and glow-in-the-dark biochemical agents may hold the key to the safe use of transplanted stem cells to treat patients with severe peripheral arterial disease, according to a team of veterinarians, basic scientists and interventional radiologists.

B: A microscopic view of stem cells inside X-ray visible bubbles, which protect the cells from rejection by the immune system. C-E: Using a reporter gene, one can determine whether stem cells in the bubbles are alive immediately after delivery (C). Only the X-ray-visible stem cells can be targeted under X-ray angiography at 24 hours (D) and 48 hours (E) after injection to show that the cells are still alive.
Credit: Kraitchman, Kedziorek, Fu, Walczak, Bulte, Wacker, et al

An unlikely brew of seaweed and glow-in-the-dark biochemical agents may hold the key to the safe use of transplanted stem cells to treat patients with severe peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to a team of veterinarians, basic scientists and interventional radiologists at Johns Hopkins.

In a preliminary "proof of concept" study in rabbits, Johns Hopkins scientists safely and successfully delivered therapeutic stem cells via intramuscular injections and then monitored the stem cells' viability once they reached their targets.

A report of the study by Johns Hopkins radiologists is scheduled for presentation at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 34th annual scientific meeting March 10.

Stem cells hold promise in treating PAD by reconstituting or increasing the number of blood vessels to replace or augment those choked off by plaque buildup. A chronic condition that can lead to amputations and even death, PAD is marked by vastly reduced circulation of blood in vessels feeding the legs and other "peripheral" body parts, and affects as many as 10 million Americans. Many cases can be treated with angioplasty or stents, similar to approaches used in coronary artery disease, but for some patients with extensive disease conventional treatment is not feasible, researchers say.

Among the technical hurdles to improving blood flow in such patients, according to Dara L. Kraitchman, V.M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins, is a means of telling doctors whether injected stem cells are staying alive and reaching the right targets to grow and develop into the needed new tissue.

This is critical, Kraitchman says, because the body's own immune defenses may recognize the potentially helpful donor stem cells as foreign invaders and try to destroy them, and also because traditional radioactive labeling agents, or tracers, which are normally used to track cells, can be toxic to stem cells.

To overcome rejection of the stem cells by the body's immune system — in this case, rabbit immune systems — they first created a novel "capsule" derived from seaweed, which was used to surround and protect the rabbit stem cells from attack by the host's immune system. Within the seaweed capsule, they added X-ray contrast agents to allow the capsules to be seen on X-ray angiography. Next, they engineered the stem cells within the capsules to produce luciferase, the same bioluminescent chemical produced by fireflies, which is highly visible under bioluminescence imaging.

"Once we were able to trick the immune system into not attacking the cells, we had to know they arrived at their destination and were living," says Kraitchman. "We could use standard X-ray angiography of blood vessels to see the transplanted cells. When they lit up like fireflies at night, we knew they were still alive."

"Hopefully, this new technology will one day pave the way for treating humans," says Frank Wacker, M.D., director of vascular interventional radiology at Hopkins and visiting professor of radiology. "We look to the day when we will be able to perform targeted delivery of stem cell to treat PAD in patients who may be facing amputation or death."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Seaweed And Fireflies Brew May Guide Stem Cell Treatment For Peripheral Artery Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310100709.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2009, March 16). Seaweed And Fireflies Brew May Guide Stem Cell Treatment For Peripheral Artery Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310100709.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Seaweed And Fireflies Brew May Guide Stem Cell Treatment For Peripheral Artery Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310100709.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins