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Stem cells can differentiate into neurons and may be useful post-stroke therapeutics



New Rochelle, NY, October 2018 — Researchers have performed a careful comparison between locally generated, ischemia-induced, multipotent stem cells (iSCs) and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) in an effort to determine which cell type has greater central nervous system (CNS) repair capacity. Their results show that the iSC characteristics make them more promising candidates as CNS injury therapeutics.

Takayuki Nakagomi, M.D., Ph.D., with colleagues from the Hyogo College of Medicine and the Kwansei Gakuin University School of Science and Technology, Hyogo, Japan, coauthored the article published in Stem Cells and Development. Although evidence has shown that grafted MSCs can improve neuronal function after a stroke, most of these cells never reach the target injured brain regions. However, a regional induction of stem cells occurs after ischemia that may provide greater opportunity to restore neuronal function.

Thus, the researchers extracted iSCs from the ischemic regions of post-stroke mice and collected and prepared MSCs from bone marrow. They then compared the gene and protein expression, multipotency and neuronal differentiation capacity of the two stem cell types. Ultimately, many similarities were identified between MSCs and iSCs, but only iSCs exhibited the potential for neuronal differentiation, thus establishing a case for their exploration as central nervous system therapeutic agents.

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