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Japan:iPS cells cure spinal cord damage

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 27,2011

A research group at a Japanese university says it has successfully used iPS cells to cure damaged spinal cords in mice.

iPS cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, have the potential to develop into a variety of tissues or organs.

The group, led by Professor Hideyuki Okano and lecturer Masaya Nakamura at Keio University, used human iPS cells to treat mice partially paralyzed due to spinal injuries.

They developed iPS cells into nerve cells and transplanted them into the spinal cords of 31 mice 9 days after they suffered the injuries. All mice showed improved mobility functions, and all were able to walk within 4 weeks.

The researchers determined that the nerve cells were functioning as part of the central nervous system.

The group says the results offer proof of the effectiveness of human iPS cells in spinal treatment.

Okano says the tests were conducted on mice soon after they suffered spinal injuries, but he hopes to test the method on patients with older spinal cord damage.

Laaska News.