Premature aging of stem cell telomeres, not inflammation, linked to emphysema

Premature aging of stem cell telomeres, not inflammation, linked to emphysema

Lung diseases like emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis are common among people with malfunctioning telomeres, the “caps” or ends of chromosomes. Now, researchers from Johns Hopkins say they have discovered what goes wrong and why.

Mary Armanios, M.D., an associate professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine., and her colleagues report that some stem cells vital to lung cell oxygenation undergo premature aging—and stop dividing and proliferating—when their telomeres are defective. The stem cells are those in the alveoli, the tiny air exchange sacs where blood takes up oxygen.

In studies of these isolated stem cells and in mice, Armanios’ team discovered that dormant or senescent stem cells send out signals that recruit immune molecules to the lungs and cause the severe inflammation that is also a hallmark of emphysema and related lung diseases.

Until now, Armanios says, researchers and clinicians have thought that “inflammation alone is what drives these lung diseases and have based therapy on anti-inflammatory drugs for the last 30 years.”

But the new discoveries, reported March 30 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest instead that “if it’s premature aging of the stem cells driving this, nothing will really get better if you don’t fix that problem,” Armanios says.

Acknowledging that there are no current ways to treat or replace damaged lung stem cells, Armanios says that knowing the source of the problem can redirect research efforts. “It’s a new challenge that begins with the questions of whether we take on the effort to fix this defect in the cells, or try to replace the cells,” she adds.

Armanios and her team say their study also found that this telomere-driven defect leaves mice extremely vulnerable to anticancer drugs like bleomycin or busulfan that are toxic to the lungs. The drugs and infectious agents like viruses kill off the cells that line the lung’s air sacs. In cases of telomere dysfunction, Armanios explains, the lung stem cells can’t divide and replenish these destroyed cells.

When the researchers gave these drugs to 11 mice with the lung stem cell defect, all became severely ill and died within a month.

This finding could shed light on why “sometimes people with short telomeres may have no signs of pulmonary disease whatsoever, but when they’re exposed to an acute infection or to certain drugs, they develop respiratory failure,” says Armanios. “We don’t think anyone has ever before linked this phenomenon to stem cell failure or senescence.”

In their study, the researchers genetically engineered mice to have a telomere defect that impaired the telomeres in just the lung stem cells in the alveolar epithelium, the layer of cells that lines the air sacs. “In bone marrow or other compartments, when stem cells have short telomeres, or when they age, they just die out,” Armanios says. “But we found that instead, these alveolar cells just linger in the senescent stage.”

The stem cells stayed alive but were unable to divide and regenerate the epithelial lining in the . After two weeks, the senescent lung stem cells only generated five new epithelial structures per 5,000 stem cells, compared to an average of 425 structures from 5,000 healthy stem cells.

The researchers say they also hope to learn more about how mice with this telomere defect in lung respond to cigarette smoke. Other studies of patients with telomere defects, including one published last year by Armanios and her colleagues, suggest that telomere defects may be one of the more common predisposing factors to , such as emphysema.

Further studies should help the scientists determine whether cigarette smoke causes lung disease in this setting because of stem cell failure, says Armanios


AI, neuroscience, technology,

Stem cells produce new brain cells

It turns out that an apple a day — or at least an apple spinach salad — does keep the doctor away. But it’s not true that when brain cells die we can’t make more. When and how remain active questions, however, so there’s no free pass to collectively disregard our mothers’ safety tips just yet.

Researchers at Duke University have shed some light on the subject with findings that suggest that down the line doctors may be able spur the brain to repair itself.

The subventricular zone, a structure within the fluid-filled lateral ventricles, was one area scientists knew could generate new neurons from neural stem cells. They had also conjectured that the brain can somehow place orders for more cells.

The Duke researchers, led by Chay Kuo, found neurons in the subventricular zone of mice that had not previously been identified. These neurons are one mechanism for creating new cells, the researchers lay out in a recent paper in Nature Neuroscience. Amplifying and dampening the neurons’ activities using laser-based optogenetic tools first discovered in 2010, Kuo and his colleagues saw corresponding changes in how many neural stem cells were on hand in the brain.

neuroscience, AI, brain, artificial intelligence, stem cellsThe new neurons express an enzyme called ChAT (or choline acetyltransferase), which is required to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. They’re calling them ChAT+ neurons.

“Kuo’s team was able to control CHaT’s action pretty much like a dimmer switch, and the stem cell production of neurons rose and fell in concert with what they were doing.

This is the first piece of a new circuit that’s never been seen,” Karl Lief Bates, Duke’s director of research communications, said in an email.

The findings boost hopes that the brain may be able to repair itself from within.

Read more….

Huntington’s disease: how could stem cells help?

Huntington’s disease is a devastating, hereditary neurodegenerative disease

Huntington’s Disease (HD) mainly affects nerve cells in the brain called medium spiny neurons

Huntington’s disease is a devastating, hereditary neurodegenerative disease affecting about 1 out of every 10,000 people in the USA, Europe and Australia. It typically causes involuntary movements of the face and body and dementia. Symptoms worsen over time, eventually leaving the affected person totally dependent on help from others. There are no effective therapies available today. How might stem cell research lead to new treatments?

Huntington’s Disease (HD) mainly affects nerve cells in the brain called medium spiny neurons (MSNs). MSNs receive and coordinate information from other neurons in the brain to control movement of the body, face and eyes.

In Huntington’s Disease large numbers of MSNs are damaged and destroyed. Some other types of neurons in the brain also appear to be affected, such as cortical neurons. Patients usually first notice symptoms when they are around 35-50 years old, typically weak spasmodic movements of the muscles in the face and limbs.

As the disease progresses, these spasmodic movements become more evident and frequent and other symptoms appear. Patients are affected in different ways, but symptoms may include difficulty speaking and swallowing, dementia or trouble concentrating.

Read full article….



Chemical difference in elderly stem cells

scientists may have clues into cellular aging and the body's ability to repair itself.

Scientists find chemical difference in elderly stem cells

Chemical difference in elderly stem cells
Elderly stem cells have chemical instructions written on the shells of their DNA that are dramatically different from their younger counterparts, a finding that may give scientists clues into cellular aging and the body’s ability to repair itself.

The discovery was made by Stanford researchers studying histones – protein shells that coat DNA. Etched into histones are chemical codes that tell cells which genes should be turned off or on, and those variances are what make some cells neurons, for example, as opposed to any other cell in the body.

The Stanford team, studying mice, looked at stem cells that were destined to become muscle cells. In young mice, the code on the histone was more permissive – there were both “on” and “off” instructions – than in older mice, in which the code included far more “off” signals.

That suggests that as the stem cells age, they become more locked into a certain fate – in the case of this study, becoming a muscle cell. When stem cells are younger, they may be more flexible.

Results of their study will have little immediate impact on human aging and health, but it provides an intriguing clue to the importance of chemical coding and how scientists may someday be able to rewrite those instructions. The research was published in the June 27 issue of Cell Reports.

Read more….

Explainer: What are stem cells?

embryonic stem cells have been created from human skin

Human Embryo

In a paper published in Cell yesterday, scientists from the US and Thailand have, for the first time, successfully produced embryonic stem cells from human skin cells.

Sounds interesting, but what are stem cells and where do they come from?

If you take a limb from a rose tree, and put it in soil, it will grow into a thriving bush.

You might say: “Plants are special. This won’t work with animals.” Or will it? If you cut off a lizard’s tail, a new tail may grow. A lobster can grow back a lost claw.

There is a special type of  that can be cut in half, again and again hundreds of times. Each half grows back into a full worm.

Similarly, if you cut out half a human liver, it will grow back. The story of Prometheus, whose liver was eaten away by eagles and regrew each day, suggests that the Greeks of ancient times knew about  of organs.

This sort of regeneration is attributed to special cells called “stem cells”.

Reprogramming the workers

Most of our cells are like many professional workers – they are hardened in their ways and can’t manage career changes.

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Putting Stem Cells In Their Place

polymer coating helps stem cells

Guidance System
A new targeting molecule (purple/red) could help stem cells (large red balls) adhere to the surfaces of inflamed blood vessels. The molecules coat the stem cells’ membranes, presenting peptides (red helices) that then bind proteins (yellow protrusions) in the inflamed tissue.
Credit: J. Am. Chem. Soc.

People with chronic diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis have inflamed leaky blood vessels, heightening their risk of heart attack and stroke. Some scientists envision using a patient’s own stem cells to regrow healthy tissue to plug the leaks and calm inflammation. A new polymer coating could help these stem cells find and adhere to inflamed endothelial tissue (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja400636d).

Targeting stem cells to specific tissues, such as the inner walls of inflamed blood vessels, is tricky because once injected into a person’s bloodstream, the cells quickly spread throughout the body. Some researchers have tried to chemically modify the membranes of stem cells to make them stick to certain tissues. However, these complex chemical treatments are laborious and can kill the cells, says Hyunjoon Kong of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “We wanted to find a molecule that would self-assemble into the stem cell membrane and guide the cell to the target tissue,” he says. “Then, a doctor could simply mix a patient’s own stem cells with our molecule and inject the mixture.”

Kong and his coworkers synthesized a targeting molecule containing vasculature binding peptides, which bind to a protein that is abundant on the surfaces of inflamed blood vessels. The scientists attached these peptides to branched polyglycerol polymers that acted as a scaffold to display the homing peptides. To link the peptides to the cell, they added greasy octadecyl hydrocarbon chains to the polymers. These chains spontaneously embed into stem cells’ lipid membranes.
To test the molecule’s homing abilities, the scientists injected mesenchymal stem cells that they had mixed with the targeting molecule into a microfluidic device that mimicked a blood vessel. The device pumped cells over a sheet of endothelial cells that acts like inflamed tissue. The researchers counted how many stem cells adhered to the sheet. Compared with unmodified stem cells, twice as many stem cells coated with targeting molecules stuck to the cell sheet.

Read more….

How To Stimulate Your Own stem cell growth naturally

The excitement over the tremendous healing and anti-aging power of stem cells  continues to build up toward a frenzied acceptance of this new wonder treatment. But stem cells are not new; they are as old as time itself. They have been and always will be inside us.

The approach, however, in harvesting, cultivating and reinfusing stem cells into one’s own system is expensive and not within the reach of the average person. The public is also confused with an avalanche of information on which stem-cell clinic to consult, what stem-cell approach is best, what kind of stem cells to use—whether from a sheep or one’s own adult stem cell.

Despite the Department of Health’s guidelines regarding the superior safety of using adult stem cells over animal sources, the debates continue.

If one were to choose adult stem cells, should it be autologous (coming from your own), or are Russian bone marrow stem cells better than the Japanese women’s placenta stem cells? Better yet, why not have your very own bone marrow stem cells taken from the back of your hip?

Experts claim that the procedure is relatively painless and 100-percent effective.

Nobody questions the benefits of stem-cell therapy for the brain, heart, lungs, kidney, pancreas, liver, spinal cord, wound-healing—the list is almost endless.

The role of bone marrow stem cells in the healing of the body due to degenerative diseases from accidents and surgeries has been recognized. And its dramatic effect in changing the course of one’s life has been hailed by medical experts as something close to a miracle.

P1-million procedure

To those who cannot afford to spend P500,000 to P1 million on a stem-cell procedure, there is another way to derive benefits from your own stem cells. Its source and supply is inside you. Stem cells are found in your brain, blood, bone marrow, fat and skin tissues.

continue on link below

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Taking stem cell therapies to patients: the role of commercialisation

Taking stem cell therapies to patients: the role of commercialisation
Last updated: 15 Jan 2013
Developing a new treatment for a disease is a long and complex process. A great deal of laboratory research is needed, but turning this research into a treatment that’s ready for patients involves many other steps too. Commercial organisations play a key role in this process.

Did you know?

It is estimated that a new therapy costs on average 760 million Euros to develop from initial scientific discovery to medical product.

Cells for use in treating patients must be produced in specialised ‘GMP’ facilities to meet high quality standards

Therapies using stem cells pose some new challenges compared to conventional drugs that can be readily standardised and mass-produced

A great deal of evidence must be gathered to show that a new therapy is safe and effective

A new treatment needs a licence
Under European law, anything that treats or diagnoses a disease is classed as a Medicinal Product and must have a government licence before it can be offered to patients (with a few specific exceptions for hospitals).

Read full article here….

Cord blood stem cells: current uses and future challenges

Last updated: 19 Dec 2012
About cord bloodUmbilicalcord_200x200

Umbilical cord blood was once discarded as waste material but is now known to be a useful source of blood stem cells. Cord blood has been used to treat children with certain blood diseases since 1989 and research on using it to treat adults is making progress. So what are the current challenges for cord blood research and how may it be used – now and in the future?

Did you know?
Over the last 20 years more than 20,000 patients worldwide have had umbilical cord blood transplants.

There are over 130 public cord blood banks in 35 countries; They are regulated by Governments and adhere to internationally agreed safety, quality and ethical standards

The nearest scientists have come to identifying a human blood stem cell: this cell has certain charactistics that suggest it may be a blood stem cell

A number of blood disorders are already treated using cord blood

About cord blood
After a baby is born, cord blood is left in the umbilical cord and placenta. It is relatively easy to collect, with no risk to the mother or baby. It contains haematopoietic (blood) stem cells: rare cells normally found in the bone marrow.

Read full article here…

Hope Beyond Hype

A story about stem cell therapies from science discovery to working therapy.And if you would like to learn more about stem cell research,

Go to OPTISTEM (link at bottom of page) take a look at their fact sheets, clinical trials information or embryonic stem cells topic page for starters. If you can’t see the Flash version of this comic below, try this this version (iPad/iPhone compatible) or view it on issuu. You can also download a PDF (35MB).


About this project
The Hope Beyond Hype graphic story grew from the desire of OptiStem, a large European consortium of stem cell researchers, to go beyond just explaining the science of stem cells. They wanted to depict the process they undertake as they try to move stem cell research on towards clinical trials and therapies.

OptiStem is a pan-European stem cell research project funded by the European Commission under FP7. It brings together scientists, companies and clinicians from 18 institutions across six countries.

Stem cell therapy promises to revolutionise healthcare

From treating diseases like diabetes and liver dysfunction to restoring vision in an injured eye, stem cells promise to revolutionise healthcare

by Shailesh Gadre Dec 24 2012
MD & CEO of Stemade Biotech

Today researchers understand that stem cells have the potential to treat serious degenerative diseases such as diabetes, Park­inson’s, muscular dystrophy and myocardial infarctions that are widely prevalent across the world. Often, people have family members or friends who are facing serious ailments and are left helpless as treatment options are limited. Stem cell therapy is looked upon as a potential alternative to the available treatment options.

Stem cells are unspecialised cells that have two defining properties: the ability to differentiate into other cells and to self-regenerate. Differentiation is defined as the ability to develop into other cell types while self-regeneration is when stem cells divide to produce additional stem cells. Therefore, stem cells can potentially be used to treat diseases like diabetes, liver dysfunction, myocardial infarction, spinal cord injuries, stroke, corneal reconstruction, wounds and even be used for cosmetic applications.

For example, a school bus driver from Delhi lost his vision in one eye while trying to save children on board from a bomb blast. Multiple doctors concluded that there was no hope to recover from this situation since the cornea in his eye had been destroyed. As a last resort he was treated by a stem cell therapist who managed to regenerate his cornea from the driver’s own adult stem cells. Today, 20 per cent vision has been restored to his damaged eye.
Read full article here…

How stem cells are being used to reveal your history in order to fix your future – STEM CELL PATIENT

A stem cell may solve most of our biggest health problems

A quick needle in your buttocks then a sticking plaster, that’s it, now your stem cells are taken to the lab, where they are used by researchers to gain insight into what’s going on inside the brain of clinically depressed people.

“You may be diagnosed with it when you’re 30, but clearly, this started somewhere earlier — maybe in utero,” said Sue O’Shea, co-director of the University of Michigan’s A.A. Taubman Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies. “We now have the ability almost to go back in time to try to see that happen.”

The key? The induced pluripotent stem cell.

The microscopic player, iPSC in lab speak, is a mature stem cell that has been coaxed into an embryonic state, and can be grown into different types of cells just like embryonic stem cells. But because the iPSC is largely drawn from adult patients, it carries with it environmental damage from its donors, a lifetime of exposure to eating habits, work conditions, lifestyle and the natural process of ageing.
Still, its value in stem cell research cannot be overstated.

Even as science is still sorting out the strengths and weaknesses of each kind of stem cell — embryonic, induced or other — the iPSC allows researchers to sidestep the sticky ethics of using human embryos, said Rasul Chaudhry, a researcher and associate professor of biology at Oakland University.

Last month, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to John Gurdon of the University of Cambridge and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan for their work that, in 2006, led to the reprogramming formula that helps mature stem cells revert to their embryonic state.

Stem Cells – The Beginning Of All Life

All life begins with stem cells. Undifferentiated cells go on to develop into any of the more than 200 types of cell held in the adult human body.

No body would argue with predictions of the awesome potential that stem cell research holds. One day, scientists say, stem cells may be used to replace or repair damaged cells, and have the potential to drastically change the treatment of conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease and even Alzeimer’s.

But the disagreements over how to conduct that research have been deep and bitter, and have most recently played out in the courts. Most research has been conducted on embryonic stem cell lines — cultures of cells derived from four- or five-day-old embryos, or fertilized cells. Embryonic stem cell research, often uses embryos discarded by fertility clinics, and has many bitter opponents who want it to be severely restricted or banned outright as inhumane. Continue reading

Stem cell transplant – a chance for a new life


stem cell transplant

Jean Beardsall

Hello, my name is Jean and I am one of the first women in New

Zealand to undergo Adult Stem cell transplant treatment in a

clinical trial right here in New Zealand.

This web site is an explanation in plain English of that process plus the costs of being involved in a clinical trial and a record of improvements from the time of my transplant on the 23rd of June 2012.

It also records the down side as I begin to realise that my improvements have been less than I hoped for, in the short time that has passed since the treatment.

Many people are cured or substantially helped through stem cell therapy but there is no guarantee – it doesn’t work for everyone. Lets see if it works for me.

Please, join me on my stem cell journey.


I also include the most up to date stem cell news, video’s and information from the latest studies and research.

SPN – Tech, Social Media & Search Engine News

Stem cell transplant treatment before during after


Before Stem cell Treatment – 25 years of misery. 

Most of my life I have suffered with fibromyalgia as well as spinal degeneration for many years. 
Fibromyalgia, as sufferers know, has dozens of symptoms – particularly widespread muscle and joint pains as well as many “tenderpoints” all over the body.
 I also experience a metallic taste in the mouth, Stinging tongue, sore gums, sore throat, Constant indigestion, Headaches, Itchy skin, Dry painful eyes when waking, and Aching eyes severe insomnia and exhaustion, to name a few.   Continue reading

Stem cell transplant treatment results second week


Sunday morning – 1st July. I was wide awake at 5.30 am. Lower back was sore but not bad.
I played with my dog today without getting exhausted. I also phoned friends and family without getting tired. irritable or stressed. I was able to sit at the computer for several hours. Continue reading

Stem cell transplant treatment results fourth week- is it really working?


Obviously I’m disappointed to a degree as well as a bit anxious, because I don’t know if I can cope with my life if stem cell treatment doesn’t work in my case. I’ve read that some people don’t respond and it’s not known why. My lower spine affects me when I sit or lie on my side. If you’ve never been in the position of being unable to either sit or lie for very long, you won’t  understand how much it interferes with a normal life. Constant pain is the chief factor. Continue reading

Stem Cell Therapies


Stem Cells Have Two Key Properties
1)The ability to self-renew, dividing in a way that makes copies of themselves,

2) The ability to differentiate, giving rise to the mature types of cells that makes up our organs and tissues.

Tissue-specific stem cells

Tissue-specific stem cells, otherwise known as “adult” or “somatic” stem cells, are already specialized to some degree and can produce most of the mature cell types found within the particular tissue or organ in which they reside. Because they are able to generate multiple, organ-specific, cell types, they are described as “multipotent.” For example, stem cells found within the adult brain are able to make neurons and two types of glial cells, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Continue reading

Will stem cells become standard treatment for many diseases?


A King’s College team suggests that it’s highly likely.Patients could be receiving stem cells treatment as standard, in a little more than a year from now, after new breakthroughs, say British scientists!

Scientists in England have made the first human embryonic stem cells of a high enough grade to use in patients and deposited them in a public stem cell bank. Continue reading

Stem Cells Can Replace Themselves


Team reconstituted stem cells’ “family tree”

A Johns Hopkins team has discovered in young adult mice that a lone brain stem cell is capable not only of replacing its self and giving rise to specialized neurons and  an  important  type of brain cell  but also of taking a totally  unexpected turn ‘ generating two new brain stem cells’. Continue reading