...the first evidence that the spinal cord meninges, the system of membranes which cover the surface of the brain and the spinal cord, contains stem cells which are capable of self-renewal and proliferation.
Durham, NC (PRWEB) October 28, 2011
Italian and Spanish scientists studying the use of stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries have provided the first evidence to show that meninges, the membrane which envelops the central nervous system, is a potential source of self-renewing stem cells. The research, published in STEM CELLS, develops the understanding of cell activation in central nervous system injuries; advancing research into new treatments for spinal injuries and degenerative brain disorders.
The team focused their research on spinal cord injuries, caused when the spinal cord is damaged by trauma rather than disease. Depending on the severity a spinal injury can lead from pain to full paralysis, with high social and medical care costs. As the spinal cord lacks the ability to regenerate, the potential for patient recovery is severely limited.
“Our research offers the first evidence that the spinal cord meninges, the system of membranes which cover the surface of the brain and the spinal cord, contains stem cells which are capable of self-renewal and proliferation,” said lead authors Dr Ilaria Decimo and Dr Francesco Bifari, at the University of Verona.
Following a spinal injury meningeal cells increase in number and migrate to form glial scars and the team believe this process explains part of the mechanism of stem cell activation in central nervous system diseases; a mechanism which could in turn be used for treatments.
Dr Decimo’s team microdissected samples of spinal cord meninges from adult rats revealing that meningeal cells contain crucial stem cell properties. It is these properties which increase following a spinal cord injury.
"Our research emphasizes the role of meninges cells in the reaction to spinal cord trauma and indicates for the first time that spinal cord meninges harbour stem cells which are activated by injury," concluded Dr, Decimo. “Further testing could result in a strategic turnaround for advancing regenerative medicine for treating neurological disorders and spinal cord injuries.”
“This study underlines the importance of endogenous stem cells,” said STEM CELLS Editor Dr Miodrag Stojkovic. “Identification of these cells is crucial for understanding the basic mechanisms of cell biology and tissue repair, but also to identify drugs and chemicals which might be used to mobilize meningeal stem cells.”
This paper is published in STEM CELLS. Media Wishing to request a copy should contact Lifesciencenews(at)wiley(dot)com or phone +44 (0)1243 770 375
Decimo. I, Bifari. F, Rodriguez. F, Malpeli. G, Dolci. S, Lavarini. V, Pretto. S, Vasquez. S, Sciancalepore. M, Montalbano. A, Berton. V, Krampera. M, Fumagalli. G, “Nestin- and DCX-positive cells reside in adult spinal cord meninges and participate to injury-induced parenchymal reaction,” STEM CELLS, Wiley-Blackwell, October 2011, DOI: 10.1002/stem.766
Paper URL: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/stem.766
Contact the Author:
Dr Decimo can be contacted via Sara Mauroner, University of Verona, sara.mauroner(at)univr(dot)it, (0039) 0480281715
About STEM CELLS: STEM CELLS, a peer reviewed journal published monthly, provides a forum for prompt publication of original investigative papers and concise reviews. The journal covers all aspects of stem cells: embryonic stem cells/induced pluripotent stem cells; tissue-specific stem cells; cancer stem cells; the stem cell niche; stem cell epigenetics, genomics and proteomics; and translational and clinical research.
For more information, please visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1549-4918
STEM CELLS is co-published by AlphaMed Press and Wiley-Blackwell.
About AlphaMed Press: Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA and Belfast, United Kingdom publishes two internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS®, now in its 29th year, is the world's first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® (http://www.TheOncologist.com), also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, is in its 16th year and is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. Both journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines. In January 2012, AlphaMed Press will launch a new peer-reviewed journal, STEM CELLS Translational Medicine that will hasten the clinical applications of stem cell therapies.
About Wiley-Blackwell: Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world’s leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit http://www.wileyblackwell.com or our new online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), one of the world’s most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities.