Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem cell treatment may offer option for broken bones that don't heal

Date:
June 6, 2011
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers have shown in an animal study that transplantation of adult stem cells enriched with a bone-regenerating hormone can help mend bone fractures that are not healing properly.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown in an animal study that transplantation of adult stem cells enriched with a bone-regenerating hormone can help mend bone fractures that are not healing properly.

The UNC study team led by Anna Spagnoli, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering, demonstrated that stem cells manufactured with the regenerative hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) become bone cells and also help the cells within broken bones repair the fracture, thereby speeding the healing.

The new findings were presented June 5, 2011 at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

A deficiency of fracture healing is a common problem affecting an estimated 600,000 people annually in North America. "This problem is even more serious in children with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, and in elderly adults with osteoporosis, because their fragile bones can easily and repeatedly break, and bone graft surgical treatment is often not successful or feasible," Spagnoli said.

Approximately 7.9 million bone fractures occur every year in the United States alone, with an estimated cost of $70 billion. Of these, 10 to 20 percent fail to heal.

Fractures that do not mend within the normal timeframe are called non-union fractures. Using an animal model of a non-union fracture, a "knockout" mouse that lacks the ability to heal broken bones, Spagnoli and her colleagues studied the effects of transplanting adult stem cells enriched with IGF-I. They took mesenchymal stem cells (adult stem cells from bone marrow) of mice and engineered the cells to express IGF-I. Then they transplanted the treated cells into knockout mice with a fracture of the tibia, the long bone of the leg.

Using computed tomography (CT) scanning, the researchers showed that the treated mice had better fracture healing than did mice either left untreated or treated only with stem cells. Compared with controls left to heal on their own or recipients of stem cells only, treated mice had more bone bridging the fracture gap, and the new bone was three to four times stronger, according to Spagnoli.

"More excitingly, we found that stem cells empowered with IGF-I restored the formation of new bone in a mouse lacking the ability to repair broken bones. This is the first evidence that stem cell therapy can address a deficiency of fracture repair," she said.

This success in an animal model of fracture non-union, Spagnoli said, "is a crucial step toward developing a stem cell-based treatment for patients with fracture non-unions."

"We envision a clinical use of combined mesenchymal stem cells and IGF-1 similar to the approach employed in bone marrow transplant, in which stem cell therapy is combined with growth factors to restore blood cells," she said. "I think this treatment will be feasible to start testing in patients in a few years." IGF-I is currently approved for treatment of children with a deficiency of this hormone, causing growth failure.

Others that contributed to the research are: Froilan Granero-Molto, Timothy Myers, Jared Weis, Lara Longobardi, Tieshi Li, Yun Yan, Natasha Case, and Janet Rubin.

Support for the research came from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Stem cell treatment may offer option for broken bones that don't heal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110605123239.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2011, June 6). Stem cell treatment may offer option for broken bones that don't heal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110605123239.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Stem cell treatment may offer option for broken bones that don't heal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110605123239.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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