Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have found that age has a profound effect on the efficacy of transplanted mesenchymal stem cell therapy. A series of previous studies had shown that stem cells could repair damage done to lungs caused by pulmonary fibrosis, but those studies relied on donor cells from relatively young animals. This study examined the differences in young and old stem cells, finding substantial differences in their biological utility.
Researchers in Japan successfully used dental pulp stem cells [DPSCs] in animal models to stimulate peripheral neural regrowth and ameliorate neural losses associated with autologous nerve grafts, which can lead to diminished function and decreased sensation. The dental pulp stem cells demonstrated regeneration of more myelinated axons than in the control group, which received autologous nerve grafts or collagen.
A recent clinical trial conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, England, has successfully treated seven patients suffering from the genetic disorder Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome by utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells. The therapy was an example of translational genomics, in which doctors extract autologous stem cells, correct the faulty gene that causes Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, and then implant the stem cells back into the patients to produce new, healthy cells.