A new study from Yale University confirms the feasibility and safety of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) infusion, adding evidence of its efficacy in spinal cord injury (SCI) treatment. Published in the Journal of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, the study involved 13 SCI patients and utilized autologous MSCs (that is, MSCs obtained from the patient in which they were subsequently infused) from bone marrow. More than half of the participants reported improvements in functions such as ability to walk or to use the hands, without side effects.
Mesenchymal stem cells in spinal cord injury treatment
The beneficial effect of mesenchymal stem cell infusion has been suggested by several experimental models of spinal cord injury. Underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Among proposed are, for example, neuroprotection, immunomodulation, remyelination (that is, regeneration of the fat sheath surrounding nerve fibers), and regulation of gene expression in the brain.
MSCs have been already utilized in SCI patients too. In this study, researchers intravenously infused them rather than injecting them in the injury site. The same approach was utilized in a previous study by the same authors that demonstrated its feasibility and safety in stroke patients
The new results
According to Jeffery D. Kocsis, coordinator of the research, «this clinical study is the culmination of extensive preclinical laboratory work using MSCs». Its results add to the evidence of MSC infusion feasibility, safety, and efficacy. «Similar results with stem cells in patients with stroke increases our confidence that this approach may be clinically useful», Kocsis said.
Mesenchymal stem cells sources
Mesenchymal stems cells were first discovered in the bone marrow. However, they are found throughout the body, and can be obtained from other tissues too. Among them are dental pulp and birth-derived tissues, in particular the placenta, the amnion, and Wharton’s jelly (the gelatinous substance within the umbilical cord). They can be easily extracted also from adipose tissue usually discarded after liposuction.
Extracted MSCs can be both cryopreserved and expanded to obtain sufficient numbers for clinical application. Bioscience Institute offers both services, warranting adherence to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), thus the possibility of using MSCs in high-quality standards requiring clinics around the World.
For further information, call us at +971 (0)4 375 7220 or visit our stem cell banking webpage.
- Honmou O et al. Intravenous infusion of auto serum-expanded autologous mesenchymal stem cells in spinal cord injury patients: 13 case series. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2021 Feb 18;203:106565. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106565
- Honmou O et al. Intravenous administration of auto serum-expanded autologous mesenchymal stem cells in stroke. Brain. 2011 Jun; 134(6): 1790–1807. doi: 10.1093/brain/awr063
- ScienceDaily. Scientists repair injured spinal cord using patients’ own stem cells. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210222124524.htm