Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Israeli researchers regenerate torn ligaments and tendons with adult stem cells

Thursday, April 06, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

On 4 April, the Israel 21C website carried a story on Israeli researchers regenerating torn ligaments and tendons with adult stem cells. Whilst this isn't a treatment for a life threatening disease, it is something that thousands of athletes would benefit from each year. The full story is reprinted below:

New research done at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem shows that adult stem cells may one day be used to make new tendon or ligament tissue, which is good news for athletes who tend to overexert themselves. In the US over 200,000 people undergo tendon or ligament repair each year, usually consisting of tissue grafting or synthetic prostheses, neither of which has proved to provide a good long-term solution.

Journal of Clinical Investigation reports that Researchers Prof. Dan Gazit and colleagues at the Skeletal Biotechnology Laboratory at the Hebrew University Faculty of Dental Medicine engineered mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which reside in the bone marrow and fat tissues, to express a protein called Smad8 and another called BMP2. When injected into rats with torn Achilles tendons, these stem cells not only survived, but were drawn to the site of injury to help repair tendons.

Dwight A. Towler and Richard Gelberman from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, reported that, "Given our limited understanding of how MSCs become tenocytes, the recent progress demonstrated in these studies is quite remarkable and may be potentially useful in cell-based therapeutic approaches to musculoskeletal injuries."


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