Using embryonic stem cells from mice, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have prompted the growth of healthy—and more importantly, functioning—muscle cells in mice afflicted with a human model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Thre study represents the first time transplanted embryonic stem cells have been shown to restore function to defective muscles in a model of muscular dystrophy.
The researchers’ newly developed technique, which involves stringent sorting to preserve all stem cells destined to become muscle, avoids the risk of tumor formation while improving the overall muscle strength and coordination of the mice, the researchers found. The mice used in the study lacked dystrophin, the same protein that humans with the fatal wasting disease also are missing.
The study, headed by Dr. Rita Perlingeiro, assistant professor of developmental biology and molecular biology, is available online and in the February issue of Nature Medicine.
Release date: January 20, 2008
Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Filed Under: Genomics/Proteomics