Wednesday, 16th April 2014

A study warns that the use of stem cells in regenerative medicine can be harmful to health

Posted on 11. Aug, 2009 in Health & Medicine, News

HTML clipboardregenerUse of stem cells in regenerative medicine is not always beneficial to human health, but may even be detrimental, as demonstrated in a work   Universities of Granada and Leon. Specifically, scientists have shown that transplantation of human mono nuclear cells isolated from umbilical cord blood took a harmful effect in rats with liver cirrhosis.

With this work, the researchers sought to investigate whether the fraction of mononuclear cells from human umbilical cord blood (CMCUH), which contains stem cells could be useful in regenerative liver. The biochemical and histological findings of this research suggest that cell transplantation not only failed to heal sick animals, but also resulted in a hepato-renal syndrome.
Research with rats
To evaluate the regenerative potential of CMCUH, scientists conducted a human-rat xenotransplantation. The rats were liver cirrhosis caused by administration of 0.3 g / L thioacetamide (TAA) in drinking water for 4 months. After that time, 10×106 CMCUH were injected via the portal vein. A similar experiment was performed transplantation in rats that drank only water (control) during the same time.

The intake of TAA nodular cirrhosis caused to animals. Cell transplantation had no effect on liver histology, but the analysis of biochemical parameters revealed that cirrhotic animals that had undergone cell therapy showed alterations in liver function (lower albumin concentration and increased total bilirubin concentration in plasma compared to cirrhotic animals did not receive CMCUH). Also, group with cirrhosis who received experimental CMCUH presented severe kidney damage.

At present, it is estimated that liver diseases affecting 17% of world population. Today there is no known specific treatment for the fibrosis that develops in many of them, so that patients receive only therapy to mitigate the associated complications. Also, the treatment of choice for terminal liver disease is liver transplantation, which is limited by the shortage of donors. The use of stem cells from umbilical cord blood in treating these diseases could represent an alternative that would avoid the suffering of many patients, although this experiment has shown that it is necessary in this research.

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