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  • Induction of Schwann cells from human mesenchymal stem cells and their application to spinal cord injury and demyelinating diseases

Induction of Schwann cells from human mesenchymal stem cells and their application to spinal cord injury and demyelinating diseases

update:2018-12-17
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Bone marrow stromal cells have great advantages since they are already applied to patients either by auto- or allo-transplantations, can be harvested in large numbers (10 million cells within several weeks) as adherent cells from bone marrow aspirates, and are with low risk of tumorigenesis. Furthermore, marrow bank is available. Likewise, mesenchymal cells harvested from umbilical cord are also easily accessible from cord bank and are a good source of mesenchymal stem cells. We have established a system to induce functional Schwann cells (peripheral glia) from human bone marrow stromal cells and umbilical cord mesenchymal cells by treating cells with a series of reagents and cytokines. This induction system successfully generates Schwann cells with very high efficiency (~97%). They were confirmed to elicit neural regeneration in peripheral nerve damages and spinal cord injury (Eur, J. Neurosci, 2001; J. Neurosurg, 2004, J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol, 2005, Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 2007; Tissue Eng., 2011). The efficiency and safety of induced Schwann cells were demonstrated in monkey by 1 year follow up (Exp. Neurol., 2010). Importantly, induced cells not only elicited neural regeneration in both peripheral and central nervous system, but also contributed to functional recovery by restoring myelin and saltatory conduction. Therefore, these cells are expected to be effective to demyelinating diseases as well. We hope to collaborate with companies and research groups who are willing to utilize our system.

Researchers

Graduate School of Medicine

DEZAWA, Mari , Professor
Doctor of Medicine

Collaborative Researchers

  • KUSHIDA, Ryosuke , Assistant Professor

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