DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

CellNEWS: Bone Marrow-derived Cells Differentiate in the Brain through Mechanisms of Plasticity

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 20, 2012 at 9:19 am

“This study shows a potential new contribution of bone marrow derived cells following transplantation into the brain, making these cells highly versatile, in their ability to both differentiate into and fuse with endogenous neurons

Bone Marrow-derived Cells Differentiate in the Brain through Mechanisms of Plasticity
Monday, 19 December 2011

Bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMDCs) have been recognized as a source for transplantation because they can contribute to different cell populations in a variety of organs under both normal and pathological conditions. Many BMDC studies have been aimed at repairing damaged brain tissue or helping to restore lost neural function, with much research focused on BMDC transplants to the cerebellum at the back of the brain. In a recent study, a research team from Spain has found that BMDCs, can contribute to a variety of neural cell types in other areas of the brain as well, including the olfactory bulb, because of a mechanism of “plasticity”.
Their results are published in the current issue of Cell Transplantation (20:8).
“To our knowledge, ours is the first work reporting the BMDC’s contribution to the olfactory neurons,” said study corresponding author Dr. Eduardo Weruaga of the University of Salamanca, Spain.
“We have shown for the first time how BMDCs contribute to the central nervous system in different ways in the same animal depending on the region and cell-specific factors.”
In this study, researchers grafted bone marrow cells into mutant mice suffering from the degeneration of specific neuronal populations at different ages, then compared them to similarly transplanted healthy controls. An increase in the number of BMDCs was found along the lifespan in both experimental groups. Six weeks after transplantation, however, more bone marrow-derived microglial cells were observed in the olfactory bulbs of the test animals where the degeneration of mitral cells was still in progress. The difference was not observed in the cerebellum where cell degeneration had been completed.
“Our findings demonstrate that the degree of neurodegenerative environment can foster the recruitment of neural elements derived from bone marrow,” explained Dr. Weruaga.
“But we also have provided the first evidence that BMDCs can contribute simultaneously to different encephalic areas through different mechanisms of plasticity – cell fusion for Purkinje cells – among the largest and most elaborately dendritic neurons in the human brain – and differentiation for olfactory bulb interneurons.”
Dr. Weruaga noted that they confirmed that BMDCs fuse with Purkinje cells but, unexpectedly, they found that the neurodegenerative environment had no effect on the behavior of the BMDCs.
“Interestingly, the contribution of BMDCs occurred through these two different plasticity mechanisms, which strongly suggests that plasticity mechanisms may be modulated by region and cell type-specific factors,” he said.
“This study shows a potential new contribution of bone marrow derived cells following transplantation into the brain, making these cells highly versatile, in their ability to both differentiate into and fuse with endogenous neurons” said Dr. Paul R. Sanberg , coeditor-in-chief of Cell Transplantation and distinguished professor of Neuroscience at the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, University of South Florida.
Source: Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair

Contact: David Eve

Reference:

Bone Marrow Contributes Simultaneously to Different Neural Types in the Central Nervous System Through Different Mechanisms of Plasticity
Recio, J. S.; Álvarez-Dolado, M.; Díaz, D.; Baltanás, F. C.; Piquer-Gil, M.; Alonso, J. R.; Werunga, E.
Cell Transplant. 20(8):1179-1192; 2011

CellNEWS: Bone Marrow-derived Cells Differentiate in the Brain through Mechanisms of Plasticity.

Couples are opting for stem cell banking

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on March 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

An increasing number of couples are opting for stem cell banking

discovers Zeenia F Baria

Stem Cell Expert Dr Satyen Sanghavi says that stem cells are cells found in all multi cellular organisms. They’re found throughout the body, but especially in bone marrow, in the peripheral blood (your circulating blood) and in the umbilical cord. “They are characterised by the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiate into a diverse range of specialised cell types. Stem cells divide themselves many times to make new stem cells. They can also transform into specific cells needed by the body to heal itself. Stem cells for transplantation can come from yourself/ your own body (an autologous transplant) or, more commonly from a donor (an allogeneic transplant). Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialised cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves through cell culture. Highly plastic adult stem cells from a variety of sources, including umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, are routinely used in medical therapies,” says Dr Sanghavi.

What is Stem Cell Banking?
A stem cell bank is a facility, which stores stem cells for future use. Umbilical cord blood is blood that remains in the placenta and in the attached umbilical cord after childbirth. Cord blood is obtained from the umbilical cord at the time of childbirth, after the cord has been detached from the newborn. Cord blood is collected because it contains stem cells, including hematopoietic cells, which can be used to treat hematopoietic and genetic disorders. Cord blood contains all the normal elements of blood – red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. But it is also rich in hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells, similar to those found in bone marrow. This is why cord blood can be used for transplantation as an alternative to bone marrow.

Why is it recommended?
Infertility Specialist, Dr Nandita Palshetkar says that stem cell banking is a simple, safe and painless procedure and happens immediately after birth after cutting the cord. “The cord blood collected is then transferred to the laboratory and frozen in cryogenic storage tanks for long-term preservation. Nowadays, the umbilical cord is also stored. Stem cells represent an exciting area in medicine because of their potential to regenerate and repair damaged tissue. Some current therapies, such as bone marrow transplantation, already make use of stem cells and their potential for regeneration of damaged tissues. Other therapies are under investigation that involve transplanting stem cells into a damaged body part and directing them to grow and differentiate into healthy tissue,” says Dr Palshetkar.

Benefits
Storing your baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells is an investment towards the future health of the family. “It ensures an exact match for the child and a more likely match for another blood-related family member, should the stem cells be needed for treatment. Unfortunately, if a stem cell treatment is indicated, families that have not privately banked their child’s cord blood stem cells end up searching for an appropriate source of compatible stem cells – searches, which can take months and still be unsuccessful. Cord blood stem cells from a family member are much more likely to be successfully transplanted than those from an unrelated donor,” says Dr Sanghavi.

Difference between stem cells from cord blood v/s bone marrow
Both bone marrow and cord blood stem cell transplants are designed to replace unhealthy cells with healthy ones. “Cord blood is blood that is collected from an infant’s umbilical cord after delivery, so that it may be tested, frozen and subsequently stored in a cord blood bank for future use. A bone marrow transplant, on the other hand, involves the use of bone marrow that is transplanted from a donor into the recipient in order to cultivate new stem cells. Stem cells are available in greater proportion from the umbilical cord as compared to bone marrow. Cord blood cells are have more generative capacity as compared to bone marrow cells. Cord blood cells can be used for those with lung, heart and kidney disease where bone marrow cells are to be avoided,” says Dr Palshetkar.

Conclusion
Gynaecologist Dr Sonal Kumta says that more parents should opt for stem cell banking. “Cord blood can be stored by cryopreservation for future use for your child or any other family member. The baby will have a 100 per cent match with these cells and siblings will have 25 per cent match. This once in a lifetime opportunity helps preserve a biological resource for future use. It helps protect one from incurable diseases like leukemia and thalassemia while trials are in progress for Alzheimers, cartilage regeneration, diabetes, heart diseases, liver diseases, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and even strokes.”

New Alarm Bells About Chemicals and Cancer – NYTimes.com

In ALL ARTICLES on May 12, 2010 at 12:07 am

New Alarm Bells About Chemicals and Cancer

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Published: May 5, 2010

The President’s Cancer Panel is the Mount Everest of the medical mainstream, so it is astonishing to learn that it is poised to join ranks with the organic food movement and declare: chemicals threaten our bodies.

The cancer panel is releasing a landmark 200-page report on Thursday, warning that our lackadaisical approach to regulation may have far-reaching consequences for our health.

I’ve read an advance copy of the report, and it’s an extraordinary document. It calls on America to rethink the way we confront cancer, including much more rigorous regulation of chemicals.

Traditionally, we reduce cancer risks through regular doctor visits, self-examinations and screenings such as mammograms. The President’s Cancer Panel suggests other eye-opening steps as well, such as giving preference to organic food, checking radon levels in the home and microwaving food in glass containers rather than plastic.

In particular, the report warns about exposures to chemicals during pregnancy, when risk of damage seems to be greatest. Noting that 300 contaminants have been detected in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies, the study warns that: “to a disturbing extent, babies are born ‘pre-polluted.’ ”

It’s striking that this report emerges not from the fringe but from the mission control of mainstream scientific and medical thinking, the President’s Cancer Panel. Established in 1971, this is a group of three distinguished experts who review America’s cancer program and report directly to the president.

One of the seats is now vacant, but the panel members who joined in this report are Dr. LaSalle Leffall Jr., an oncologist and professor of surgery at Howard University, and Dr. Margaret Kripke, an immunologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Both were originally appointed to the panel by former President George W. Bush.

“We wanted to let people know that we’re concerned, and that they should be concerned,” Professor Leffall told me.

The report blames weak laws, lax enforcement and fragmented authority, as well as the existing regulatory presumption that chemicals are safe unless strong evidence emerges to the contrary.

“Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety,” the report says. It adds: “Many known or suspected carcinogens are completely unregulated.”

Industry may howl. The food industry has already been fighting legislation in the Senate backed by Dianne Feinstein of California that would ban bisphenol-A, commonly found in plastics and better known as BPA, from food and beverage containers.

Studies of BPA have raised alarm bells for decades, and the evidence is still complex and open to debate. That’s life: In the real world, regulatory decisions usually must be made with ambiguous and conflicting data. The panel’s point is that we should be prudent in such situations, rather than recklessly approving chemicals of uncertain effect.

The President’s Cancer Panel report will give a boost to Senator Feinstein’s efforts. It may also help the prospects of the Safe Chemicals Act, backed by Senator Frank Lautenberg and several colleagues, to improve the safety of chemicals on the market.

Some 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and they include Democrats and Republicans alike. Protecting ourselves and our children from toxins should be an effort that both parties can get behind — if enough members of Congress are willing to put the public interest ahead of corporate interests.

One reason for concern is that some cancers are becoming more common, particularly in children. We don’t know why that is, but the proliferation of chemicals in water, foods, air and household products is widely suspected as a factor. I’m hoping the President’s Cancer Panel report will shine a stronger spotlight on environmental causes of health problems — not only cancer, but perhaps also diabetes, obesity and autism.

This is not to say that chemicals are evil, and in many cases the evidence against a particular substance is balanced by other studies that are exonerating. To help people manage the uncertainty prudently, the report has a section of recommendations for individuals:

¶Particularly when pregnant and when children are small, choose foods, toys and garden products with fewer endocrine disruptors or other toxins. (Information about products is at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com or www.healthystuff.org.)

¶For those whose jobs may expose them to chemicals, remove shoes when entering the house and wash work clothes separately from the rest of the laundry.

¶Filter drinking water.

¶Store water in glass or stainless steel containers, or in plastics that don’t contain BPA or phthalates (chemicals used to soften plastics). Microwave food in ceramic or glass containers.

¶Give preference to food grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers and growth hormones. Avoid meats that are cooked well-done.

¶Check radon levels in your home. Radon is a natural source of radiation linked to cancer.

via Op-Ed Columnist – New Alarm Bells About Chemicals and Cancer – NYTimes.com.

See also:

%d bloggers like this: