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Sniffing out a new source of stem cells

Date:
June 14, 2011
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
New research in mice suggests that adult stem cells from immune system tissue in the smell-sensing region of the human nose (human olfactory ecto--mesenchymal stem cells [OE-MSCs]) could provide a source of cells to treat brain disorders in which nerve cells are lost or irreparably damaged.

New research in mice suggests that adult stem cells from immune system tissue in the smell-sensing region of the human nose (human olfactory ecto--mesenchymal stem cells [OE-MSCs]) could provide a source of cells to treat brain disorders in which nerve cells are lost or irreparably damaged.

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A team of researchers, led by Emmanuel Nivet, now at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, has generated data in mice that suggest that adult stem cells from immune system tissue in the smell-sensing region of the human nose (human olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells [OE-MSCs]) could provide a source of cells to treat brain disorders in which nerve cells are lost or irreparably damaged.

Stem cells are considered by many to be promising candidate sources of cells for the regeneration and repair of tissues damaged by various brain disorders (including traumatic brain injury). There are two types of stem cell usually considered in this therapeutic context: embryonic stem (ES) cells, which are derived from early embryos; and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are derived by reprogramming cells of the body such that they have the ability to generate any cell type.

Ethical and technical issues have so far limited clinical development of therapeutic approaches using ES and iPS cells, respectively, meaning that researchers are seeking alternative stem cell sources. Nivet and colleagues found that upon transplantation into mice with damage to the hippocampal region of their brain (a region important for learning and memory) OE-MSCs moved toward the site of damage, where they developed into nerve cells and also stimulated endogenous nerve cell generation. Importantly, the treated mice showed improvement in learning and memory. These data suggest OE-MSCs might be of tremendous utility in the clinic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emmanuel Nivet, Michel Vignes, Stéphane D. Girard, Caroline Pierrisnard, Nathalie Baril, Arnaud Devèze, Jacques Magnan, Fabien Lanté, Michel Khrestchatisky, François Féron, François S. Roman. Engraftment of human nasal olfactory stem cells restores neuroplasticity in mice with hippocampal lesions. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI44489

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Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Sniffing out a new source of stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613121958.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2011, June 14). Sniffing out a new source of stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613121958.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Sniffing out a new source of stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613121958.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

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