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December 20, 2004

Study shows that stem cells use inflammatory signals to find injured tissue

Topics: Medicine

News-Medical.Net reports today on a report suggesting a mechanism for stem cells to know where to target:

A joint effort led by stem cell biologist Evan Y. Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., of The Burnham Institute, and Samia J. Khoury, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, report data suggesting that stem cells use inflammatory signals to "know" where they must home.

Using a simulated stroke model, the collaborators found that the chemokine SDF-1 alpha, secreted by injured or inflamed neural tissue, acts like an SOS signal and summons implanted human neural stem cells to the site of injury, where the stem cells can assume the function of missing neurons. These results were published in the December 7th issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

To regenerate unhealthy tissue, stem cells must first move toward the effected area. It had never been known how stem cells--particularly those in the nervous system, but those in other systems, as well--are able to home precisely to the site of injury or disease, across long distances and using non-stereotypical pathways.  Continue reading at .....

Posted by Hyscience at December 20, 2004 12:24 PM

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