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publicado em 16/07/2012 às 20h21:00
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Cord blood cells may help in the treatment of neurological disorders

Study shows that protein found in embryonic cells can behave as neurons, being capable of transmit electrical signs

 
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Foto: Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Foto: Cortesia Alessandra Giorgetti
Carol Marchetto (a esq.) e Mo Li, pesquisadores envolvidos no estudo Imagem de microscópio mostra uma colônia de neurônios derivadas do sangue do cordão umbilical
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Carol Marchetto (a esq.) e Mo Li, pesquisadores envolvidos no estudo
Imagem de microscópio mostra uma colônia de neurônios derivadas do sangue do cordão umbilical

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in US, may have found a way to use a protein found in umbilical cord blood to treat a wide variety of neurological conditions including stroke, head trauma and spinal cord injury.

Researchers have established a protocol indicating that these proteins, found in mesoderm (middle layer of embryonic cells) can be transferred to the ectodermal cells (the outer layer of the brain), which arise where the nerves of the brain and spine. "This study shows for the first time, the direct conversion of a pure population of human blood cells in the spinal neural cell lines by forced expression of a single transcription factor," says Professor Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, team leader research.

The researchers used a retrovirus, which acts as a switch in neural development, cells in umbilical cord blood (CB). After culturing in the laboratory, they found colonies of cells that express neuronal markers. Using a variety of tests, they determined that the new cells, called neural cells induced (INC), could transmit electrical impulses, similar to mature neurons and functional. Furthermore, they have transferred the cells to a rat brain and found that they are integrated to the neural network of the animal, were able to transmit electrical signals.

For co-author of the study, researcher Alessandra Giorgetti, "cord cells offer several advantages over other types of stem cells. Firstly, they are not embryonic and therefore do not generate controversy. Are more flexible than the adult stem cells, derived from sources such as bone marrow, which can make them more easily converted to specific cell lineages. The collection of CB cells is safe, painless, presents no risk to the donor, and can be stored in blood banks for later use, "he concludes.

"If our protocol is developed in a clinical application, it could help in future cell replacement therapies," says Mo Li, also co-author of the article.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Umbilical    Embryonic cells    Neurological    Neurons    Stem cells   
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