Multipotent Stem Cells In Deer Antler May Have Regenerative Uses In Veterinary Medicine

A team of researchers in Seoul, Korea have reported finding evidence that deer antlers – unique in that they regenerate annually – contain multipotent stem cells that could be useful for tissue regeneration in veterinary medicine. 

The study appears as an early e-publication for the journal Cell Transplantation, and is now freely available on-line.* 

“We successfully isolated and characterized antler tissue-derived multipotent stem cells and confirmed that the isolated cells are self-renewing and can differentiate into multiple lineages,” said study co-author Dr. Kyung-Sun Kang of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Seoul National University. “Using optimized culture conditions, deer antler displayed vigorous cell proliferation.” 

Deer antler has been an issue in the news recently when professional athletes allegedly therapeutically used deer antler sprays, said to contain the insulin-like growth factor, IGF-1, to recover from injuries. The Korean research team did not investigate the potential for deer antler to be used in human therapies, but suggested that it could be used in veterinary medicine due to the impact of two important factors; the regenerative and the proliferative capabilities of the stem cells they isolated. 

Stem cells, cells with the capability to differentiate into varieties of cells, have been isolated from a number of tissues, including bone marrow, fat tissues, umbilical cord blood, placenta and menstrual blood. Stem cell research in the last two decades has focused on both pluripotent stem cells, able to differentiate into all cell types of the body, and multipotent stem cells, able to differentiate into some but not all cell types, the latter of which has a longer history of study as they were identified earlier. 

Researchers have sought to use transplanted stem cells for many regenerative purposes – from using them to regenerate neural cells following stroke or spinal cord injuries, to using stem cells to help regenerate failing or injured organs. 

Deer antler is of interest, said the researchers, “because antlers are very peculiar organs in that they are lost and re-grown annually….a rare example of a completely regenerating organ in mammals.” 

According to the researchers, they subjected deer antler to differentiation assays for osteogenic (bone), adipogenic (fat) and chondrogenic (cartilage) lineages under culture conditions specific for each lineage to confirm the multi-lineage differentiation ability of antler multipotent stem cells. They concluded that deer antler tissue might be a “valuable source of stem cells” that could “be a potentially useful source of regenerative therapeutics in veterinary science.” 

The researchers noted that the development of deer-specific antibodies “is essential to confirm the identification of antler multipotent stem cells”. 

They specifically noted that injury to wild animals, including deer, might be treated using deer antler derived cells. They also pointed out that studies involving the use of horse stem cells have found clinical application of equine-derived stem cells. 

“Deer-vehicle collision is frequent, inducing bone fracture,” they wrote. “Antler multipotent stem cells could be used for therapeutic application for wild animal treatments and tissue engineering.” 

“This study highlights a novel source of stem cells for use in veterinary reparative therapies for wild animals” said Dr. Alison Willing, Professor at the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, University of South Florida. “Future studies of these cells will allow their full potential as a therapy to be discerned.”

 

Article Source : http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/257929.php

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Stem cells transplantation technique has high potential as a novel therapeutic strategy for ED

Arnhem, 11 March 2013 – Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells cultivated on the surface of nanofibrous meshes could be a novel therapeutic strategy against post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction (ED), conclude the authors of a study which is to be presented at the 28th Annual EAU Congress later this week.

The study was conducted by a group of Korean scientists and will be awarded 3rd prize for best abstract in non-oncology research on the opening day of the congress.

During their investigation, the group aimed to examine the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells cultivated on the surface of nanofibrous meshes (nano-hMSCs) into neuron-like cells and repair of erectile dysfunction using their transplantation around the injured cavernous nerve (CN) of rats.

“The objectives of the study reflect a very pertinent need in today’s urology practice,” said the lead author of the investigation Prof. Y.S. Song of Soonchunhyang University School of Medicine in South Korea. “Post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction results from injury to the cavernous nerve that provides the autonomic input to erectile tissue. It is a common complication after radical prostatectomy which decreases the patient’s quality of life”.

“Although advances in equipment and surgical techniques reduce this complication, patients still experience erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy,” he explained.

Treatment of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors shows insufficient effectiveness in the treatment of post-prostatectomy ED and it is believed that the transplantation of stem cells cultivated on the surface of nanofibrous meshes can promote cavernous neuronal regeneration and repair erectile dysfunction.

In the course of the study, the synthesised polymer was electrospun in a rotating drum to prepare nanofibrous meshes and hMSCs were prepared and confirmed. Eight week old male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 groups of 10 each, including sham operation (group 1), CN injury (group 2), hMSCs treatment after CN injury (group 3) and nano-hMSCs treatment after CN injury (group 4). Immediately after the CN injury in group 4, nano-hMSCs encircled the injured CN. Erectile response was assessed by CN stimulation at 2, 4 weeks. Thereafter, penile tissue samples were harvested and examined using morphological analysis and immuno-histochemical stain against nerves (nestin, tubulin βIII and map2), endothelium (CD31,vWF) and smooth muscle (smooth muscle actin).

The results of the study revealed that at 2, 4 weeks, transplantation of nano-hMSCs increased the expression levels of cavernous neuronal, endothelial and smooth muscle makers more than hMSCs alone.

Additionally, nano-hMSCs increased the neuronal differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells more than hMSCs alone. At 2, 4 weeks, the mean percent collagen area of caversnosum increased following CN injury and recovered after transplantation of nano-hMSCs more than hMSCs alone.

At 2, 4 weeks, the group with CN injury had significantly lower erectile function than the group without CN injury (p<0.05). The group transplanted with hMSCs showed higher erectile function than the sham operation group (p<0.05), whereas the group transplanted with nano-hMSCs showed higher erectile function than the group with hMSCs alone (p<0.05).

The authors of the study concluded that nano-hMSCs differentiated into neuron-like cells and their transplantation repair erectile dysfunction in the rats with CN injury. These findings have high potential for the development of follow-up research projects.

“The outcomes of the current study could be a starting point for investigating clinical application of autologous adipocyte derived mesenchymal stem cells cultivated on the nonofiber to the injured caverneous nerve after radical prostatectomy,” said Prof. Song.

“This is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of transplantated human mesenchymal stem cells cultivated on the surface of nanofibrous meshes against post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction in patients with cavernous nerve injury.”

Source of this news : http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/eaou-sct031113.php