“Our study showed that cell transplantation therapy may improve brain receptor function in patients who suffered from cerebral stroke, improving their neurological symptoms,” said Satoshi Kuroda, M.D., Ph.D., who is with the department of neurosurgery at Hokkaido University School of Medicine in Sapporo, Japan. “How the transplanted bone marrow stromal cells restore the lost neurologic function is not clear,” he added.

What researchers do know is that cells found in an adult’s bone marrow – stromal cells – may provide a safe, ethical source for replacing brain cells lost to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Studies have shown that cells taken from adult human bone marrow may possibly be converted into neural cells – cells with the ability to convert to any type of cell found in the body – that could then be transplanted into the brain.

Using autoradiography and fluorescence immunohistochemistry, the researchers examined the binding of a radioactive molecule with a specific receptor protein in animals with cerebral infarcts or strokes. Their findings clearly showed that bone marrow stromal cells may contribute to neural tissue regeneration by migrating toward the periinfarct area and acquiring the neuron-specific receptor function.

The study authors emphasized that “it is essential to clarify the underlying mechanism before undertaking clinical trials with stem cell-based approaches for patients with cerebral stoke.” Their results “may help fill in a piece of the ‘missing link’ between histologic findings and functional recovery in animal experiments and may be useful for further stem cell research.”

MEDICA.de; Source: Society of Nuclear Medicine