Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amniotic fluid stem cells repair gut damage

Date:
March 24, 2013
Source:
University College London
Summary:
Stem cells taken from amniotic fluid were used to restore gut structure and function following intestinal damage in rodents, according to new research. The findings pave the way for a new form of cell therapy to reverse serious damage from inflammation in the intestines of babies.

Stem cells taken from amniotic fluid were used to restore gut structure and function following intestinal damage in rodents, in new research published in the journal Gut. The findings pave the way for a new form of cell therapy to reverse serious damage from inflammation in the intestines of babies.

The study, funded by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, investigated a new way to treat necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), where severe inflammation destroys tissues in the gut. NEC is the most common gastrointestinal surgical emergency in newborn babies, with mortality rates of around 15 to 30 per cent in the UK.

While breast milk and probiotics can help to reduce the incidence of the disease, no medical treatments are currently available other than surgery once NEC sets in. Surgical removal of the dead tissue shortens the bowel and can lead to intestinal failure, with some babies eventually needing ongoing parenteral nutrition (feeding via an intravenous line) or an intestinal transplant.

In the study, led by the UCL Institute of Child Health, amniotic fluid stem (AFS) cells were harvested from rodent amniotic fluid and given to rats with NEC. Other rats with the same condition were given bone marrow stem cells taken from their femurs, or fed as normal with no treatment, to compare the clinical outcomes of different treatments.

NEC-affected rats injected with AFS cells showed significantly higher survival rates a week after being treated, compared to the other two groups. Inspection of their intestines, including with micro magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), showed the inflammation to be significantly reduced, with fewer dead cells, greater self-renewal of the gut tissue and better overall intestinal function.

While bone marrow stem cells have been known to help reverse colonic damage in irritable bowel disease by regenerating tissue, the beneficial effects from stem cell therapy in NEC appear to work via a different mechanism. Following their injection into the gut, the AFS cells moved into the intestinal villi -- the small, finger-like projections that protrude from the lining of the intestinal wall and pass nutrients from the intestine into the blood. However, rather than directly repairing the damaged tissue, the AFS cells appear to have released specific growth factors that acted on progenitor cells in the gut which in turn, reduced the inflammation and triggered the formation of new villi and other tissues.

Dr Paolo De Coppi, UCL Institute of Child Health, who led the study, says: "Stem cells are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects, but this is the first time we have shown that amniotic fluid stem cells can repair damage in the intestines. In the future, we hope that stem cells found in amniotic fluid will be used more widely in therapies and in research, particularly for the treatment of congenital malformations. Although amniotic fluid stem cells have a more limited capacity to develop into different cell types than those from the embryo, they nevertheless show promise for many parts of the body including the liver, muscle and nervous system."

Dr Simon Eaton, UCL Institute of Child Health and co-author of the study, adds: "Once we have a better understanding of the mechanisms by which AFS cells trigger repair and restore function in the gut, we can start to explore new cellular or pharmacological therapies for infants with necrotizing enterocolitis."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Augusto Zani, Mara Cananzi, Francesco Fascetti-Leon, Giuseppe Lauriti, Virpi V Smith, Sveva Bollini, Marco Ghionzoli, Antonello D'Arrigo, Michela Pozzobon, Martina Piccoli, Amy Hicks, Jack Wells, Bernard Siow, Neil J Sebire, Colin Bishop, Alberta Leon, Anthony Atala, Mark F Lythgoe, Agostino Pierro, Simon Eaton, Paolo De Coppi. Amniotic fluid stem cells improve survival and enhance repair of damaged intestine in necrotising enterocolitis via a COX-2 dependent mechanism. Gut, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-303735

Cite This Page:

University College London. "Amniotic fluid stem cells repair gut damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130324202036.htm>.
University College London. (2013, March 24). Amniotic fluid stem cells repair gut damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130324202036.htm
University College London. "Amniotic fluid stem cells repair gut damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130324202036.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 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