Safe Stem Cells Reverse Alzheimer’s Symptoms
Scientists in South Korea have used intravenous injections of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) to both prevent development of and reverse the symptoms and neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in mouse models.
Scientists in South Korea have used intravenous injections of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) to both prevent development of and reverse the symptoms and neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in mouse models. The studies, in the Tg2576 mouse model of AD, demonstrated that either intravenous or intracerebral injections of hASCs led to significant improvements in memory and learning, and reduced the numbers of amyloid plaques and Aβ levels in the brain. The benefits were evident for at least four months after treatment.
Prior in vivo studies have demonstrated that transplanted neural stem cells and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells can help rescue memory deficits in AD mouse models and hold back Aβ deposition, but neither of these stem cell types would be suitable for intravenous administration, according to Seoul National University’s Yoo-Hun Suh, Ph.D., and the RNL Bio Stem Cell Technology Institute’s Jeong-Chan Ra, Ph.D. Another source of stem cells is the adipose tissue, which yields adipose-derived stem cells, a mesenchymal stem cell type that can differentiate into both mesenchymal and non-mesenchymal lineages. In contrast with other stem cell types, autologous hASCs are not associated with ethical issues, and, based on data from the team’s previous research, can be administered intravenously with no concerns about immune rejection or tumorigenesis.