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Stem cells from amniotic fluid regenerate muscle tissue

Jun 20, 2012

An innovative strategy for regenerating skeletal muscle tissue using cells derived from the amniotic fluid is outlined in new research published by scientists at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Child Health.

The paper shows that damaged muscle tissues can be treated with cells derived from the fluids which surround the fetus during development, leading to satisfactory regeneration and muscle activity. The treatment resulted in longer survival in mice affected by a muscle variant of spinal muscular atrophy.This is the first time that regeneration of diseased muscle tissue has been obtained using cells derived from amniotic fluid.

The research appears in the journalStem Cells, authored by Dr. Paolo de Coppi (UCL Institute of Child Health and surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital) and colleagues in Paris and Padova, Italy.

Tissue-derived stem cells are presently considered the best source for muscle regeneration.However they cannot be used to treat muscular dystrophies because the autologous stem cells themselves are affected in individuals with these conditions.

Researchers demonstrated that intravenous transplantation of amniotic fluid stem (AFS) cells enhanced the muscle strength and improved the survival rate of the affected mice. This is the first study to demonstrate the functional and stable integration of AFS cells into skeletal muscle, highlighting their value as a cell source for the treatment of muscular dystrophies. The research is still at a relatively early stage as the work has only been carried out in animal models.

Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic disease affecting one in 6,000 births. It is currently incurable and in its most severe form children with the condition may not survive long into childhood. Children with a less severe form face the prospect of progressive muscle wasting, loss of mobility and motor function.

Researchers plan to perform more in-depth studies with human AFS cells in mouse models to see if it is viable to use cells derived from the amniotic fluid to treat diseases affecting skeletal muscle tissue.

Bone marrow-derived and adipose-derived stem cells appear to hold great promise in treating a variety of diseases and conditions.Some conditions, such as joint, tendon and muscle injury, are treatable now with stem cells. Other conditions, such as ALS, diabetes, heart disease and MS, appear to be treatable with stem cell therapy, but widespread treatment is still in the near-future.Research into deriving stem cells from amniotic fluid is truly an impressive development.

The Stem Cells journal abstract can be found by clicking here.

Dennis M. Lox, MD, has been sucessfully preforming stem cell therapy for several years. Dr. Lox is located in the Tampa bay area in Clearwater, Florida

Information contained in this blog is intended for educational purposes only and not for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern or issue, please consult with your physician.

Picture of Dr. Lox in his office

About the Author

Dennis M. Lox M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.

Dennis M. Lox M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.