Stem cells act as 'first aid kits' in repairing damaged immune response

A new study has revealed that stem cell therapy can also work through a mechanism other than cell replacement.

Washington: A new study has revealed that stem cell therapy can also work through a mechanism other than cell replacement.

According to the study led by the researchers at University of Cambridge, stem cells "communicate" with cells by transferring molecules via fluid filled bags called vesicles, helping other cells to modify the damaging immune response around them.

Stefano Pluchino from the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, who led the study, said that these tiny vesicles in stem cells contain molecules like proteins and nucleic acids that stimulate the target cells and help them to survive - they act like mini "first aid kits".

Pluchino said that essentially, they mirror how the stem cells respond to an inflammatory environment like that seen during complex neural injuries and diseases, and they pass this ability on to the target cells. We think this helps injured brain cells to repair themselves.

The study was published in the Molecular Cell.  

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