UMDNJ Researcher Discovers MicroRNAs Are Potential Targets for Changes in Adult Stem Cells Introduced to Inflamed Sites in Injured Tissue
NEWARK — A University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey researcher has discovered that adult stem cells from bone marrow undergo changes in the presence of inflammation that may trigger repair of damaged tissue.
Pranela Rameshwar, Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ- New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), co-authored an article explaining the discovery. “MicroRNAs regulate synthesis of the neurotransmitter substance P in human mesenchymal stem cell-derived neuronal cells” appeared in the Sept. 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
She co-authored it with Steven J. Greco, who recently defended his PhD thesis as a student at UMDNJ-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
The study shows how adult stem cells from bone marrow behave, giving researchers a better understanding of how they may help repair damaged tissue, Dr. Rameshwar explained. Such knowledge ultimately could lead to development of therapies for neural diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, and spinal chord and traumatic brain injuries.
Visit http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/104/39/15484 for the full article text.
The research was funded by the Morristown-based F.M. Kirby Foundation Inc., which has provided funding through the Foundation of UMDNJ, to Dr. Rameshwar and a group of NJMS colleagues. Researchers there are exploring how cells communicate with each other by studying the synapse, the place where signals pass from the neuron to another cell, to understand how neurons normally communicate; explain the pathology of various nervous system diseases; and improve results from pharmacological or biotechnological interventions.
To interview Dr. Rameshwar, please contact Zenaida Mendez at (973) 972-3000.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.