Scientists explore using stem cells to treat inflammatory bowel disease

A source of gut stem cells that can repair a type of inflammatory bowel disease when transplanted into mice has been identified by researchers at the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and at BRIC, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The findings pave the way for patient-specific regenerative therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

All tissues in our body contain specialised stem cells, which are responsible for the lifelong maintenance of the individual tissue and organ. Stem cells found in adults are restricted to their tissue of origin, for example, stem cells found in the gut will be able to contribute to the replenishment of the gut whereas stem cells in the skin will only contribute to maintenance of the skin.

Journal: Cell Stem Cell

Read more at:

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2013/Press-releases/WTP054261.htm

http://www.cam.ac.uk/news/scientists-explore-using-stem-cells-to-treat-inflammatory-bowel-disease

http://www.bric.ku.dk/newslist/news/stem_cell_patches/

Image

Transplanted stem cells (green) engrafting in the inflamed mouse intestine

Rob Fordham and Shiro Yui

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