This form of personalized treatment for MS may be one step closer, due to new research that presents how a person’s own skin cells could be used to repair nerve damage that is caused by the condition.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge in the UK led the study. They took skin cells from adult mice with MS and then reprogrammed them into neural stem cells (NSCs).
These ‘induced neural stem cells’ (iNSCs) were transplanted into the mice cerebrospinal fluid. There they reduced inflammation and restored damage to the central nervous system. The lead study author, Dr. Stefano Plunchino from the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, believes that this strategy could offer a promising treatment for MS and other neurological diseases.
MS is a progressive neurological disease that is estimated to affect 2.3 million people worldwide. The causes of MS are unclear; an abnormal immune system response is thought to be involved. This leads to inflammation in the CNS, which causes the destruction of myelin or the fatty substances that guards nerve fibres.
Human clinical trials are needed before iNSCs can be considered as a suitable treatment for MS, but this latest study certainly shows promise.
Peruzzotti-Jametti, Et.Al: Macrophage-Derived Extracellular Succinate Licenses Neural Stem Cells to Suppress Chronic Neuroinflammation. Published online: February 22,2018 Available: http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(18)30061-4