Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brittle-bone babies helped by fetal stem cell grafts

Date:
December 16, 2013
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Osteogeneis imperfecta (OI) is a congenital bone disease that causes stunted growth and repeated, painful fracturing. Ultrasound scans can reveal fractures already in the fetus, and now an international team of researchers has treated two babies in utero by injecting bone-forming stem cells.

Osteogeneis imperfecta (OI) is a congenital bone disease that causes stunted growth and repeated, painful fracturing. Ultrasound scans can reveal fractures already in the fetus, and now an international team of researchers from Sweden, Singapore and Taiwan have treated two babies in utero by injecting bone-forming stem cells. The longitudinal results of the treatment are published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Related Articles


The babies were treated with mesenchymal stem cells, connective tissue cells that can form and improve bone tissue. The stem cells were extracted from the livers of donors and although they were completely unmatched genetically, there was no rejection and the transplanted cells were accepted as self.

Back in 2005, a paper was published from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden describing how stem cells were given to a female fetus. The present study describes how the girl suffered a large number of fractures and developed scoliosis up to the age of eight, whereupon the researchers decided to give her a fresh stem cell graft from the same donor. For the next two years the girl suffered no new fractures and improved her growth rate. Today she takes dance lessons and participates more in PE at school.

Another unborn baby with OI, a girl from Taiwan, was also given stem cell transplantation by the Karolinska Institutet team and their colleagues from Singapore. The girl subsequently followed a normal and fracture-free growth trajectory until the age of one, when it levelled off. She was given a fresh stem cell treatment and her growth resumed. The girl started to walk and has since not suffered any new fractures. Today she is four years old.

"We believe that the stem cells have helped to relieve the disease since none of the children broke bones for a period following the grafts, and both increased their growth rate," says study leader Dr Cecilia Götherström, researcher at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology. "Today, the children are doing much better than if the transplantations had not been given. OI is a very rare disease and lacks effective treatment, and a combined international effort is needed to examine whether stem cell grafts can alleviate the disease."

The researchers have also identified a patient, a boy from Canada, who was born with OI caused by exactly the same mutation as the Swedish girl had. The boy was not given stem cell therapy and was born with severe and widespread bone damage, including numerous fractures and kyphosis of the thoracic vertebrae, which causes such over-curvature of the spine that it impairs breathing. The boy died of pneumonia within his first 5 months.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Cecilia Götherström, Magnus Westgren, S W Steven Shaw, Eva Åström, Arijit Biswas, Peter H Byers, Citra N Z Mattar, Gail E Graham, Jahan Taslimi, Uwe Ewald, Nicholas M Fisk, Allen E J Yeoh, Ju-Li Lin, Po-Jen Cheng, Mahesh Choolani, Katarina Le Blanc and Jerry K Y Chan. Pre and postnatal transplantation of fetal mesenchymal stem cells in osteogenesis imperfecta: a two-center experience. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, December 2013

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Brittle-bone babies helped by fetal stem cell grafts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216102840.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2013, December 16). Brittle-bone babies helped by fetal stem cell grafts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216102840.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Brittle-bone babies helped by fetal stem cell grafts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216102840.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) — A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Rural Sierra Leone the Red Cross Battles Ebola

In Rural Sierra Leone the Red Cross Battles Ebola

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — The Red Cross battles the Ebola virus in rural Sierra Leone and its fallout. In one treatment centre in the city of Kenema, the Red Cross also runs a kindergarten. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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