Hope for Spinal Cord Injury Repair
The use of HUMAN MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS (MSCs) to prompt repair of spinal cord injuries in transgenic (genetically engineered or altered) zebrafish embryos has been studied for the first time by researchers at UMDNJ. Zebrafish are especially valuable to researchers due to invertebrate characteristics that are similar to those of humans, the transparency of their bodies and their ability to initiate regeneration of damaged tissue. The study, conducted by Hatem E. Sabaawy, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at RWJMS and a resident member of CINJ, and Pranela Rameshwar, PhD, professor of medicine at NJMS, shows that human MSCs affix to the injury site and influence spinal cord cells to accelerate the repair process. Published online ahead of print in Stem Cells and Development, the research indicates that human mesenchymal stem cells may play an important role in the repair of spinal cord injuries.