Injected stem cells cure osteoporosis in mice

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Scientists have discovered that an injection of stem cells into mice with osteoporosis was able to completely cure them of the bone disease.

Researchers at the University of Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital had previously found a causal effect between mice developing age-related osteoporosis and a deficiency in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). One of the promising attributes of MSCs is that, while they can grow into different cells in the body just like other stem cells, they can be transplanted without the need for a match. “We reasoned that if defective MSCs are responsible for osteoporosis, transplantation of healthy MSCs should be able to prevent or treat osteoporosis,” says William Stanford, senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and Professor at the University of Ottawa.

To put this reasoning to the test, the scientists injected MSCs into mice with the condition. Six months later, which is one quarter of the life span of the animal, they observed a healthy functional bone in place of the damaged one. “We had hoped for a general increase in bone health,” says John E. Davies, co-author of the study. “But the huge surprise was to find that the exquisite inner ‘coral-like’ architecture of the bone structure of the injected animals – which is severely compromised in osteoporosis – was restored to normal.”

The importance of this discovery for space travel is that it might eventually allow scientists to use it to somehow prevent the loss of bone density during weightlessness.



  • wodun

    The interesting thing about all of the advances in stem cell uses, the vast majority come from the patient or from sources other than embryos. There are many articles like this, I can’t remember any that use embryonic stem cells.

  • Edward

    Wodun wrote: “There are many articles like this, I can’t remember any that use embryonic stem cells.”

    There had better be a bunch of them! California approved $3 Billion in bonds, a couple of decades ago, in order to use embryonic stem cells (advertised as the only ones that were useful to scientists) for research. If we didn’t get our money’s worth, then it will have been yet another expensive, left-wing, failed boondoggle.

    *Sigh* That means that there probably aren’t any, at least not from California.

  • Phill O

    The Nazis scientists were not encumbered by moral laws. We, however, are much more “sensitive”. We take a life, then find what all money can be made from that murder! Much different when there is the use of a body that has no chance for life. We condone this with “It is for the greater good”. Maybe, this is why our countries are being invaded by the Jihadists?

  • David M. Cook

    It looks like we’re heading into an era where most of the chronic diseases will be curable with minimal treatment, just like on Star Trek, only sooner than the 23rd century. What will the drug companies and all of the current medical infrastructure be worth when people no longer remain ill for long periods of time?

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