Multipotent adult progenitor stem cells (MAPCs) extracted from bone marrow of mouse models have regenerated blood vessel and muscle tissue when treating peripheral vascular disease, scientists reported on January 24.
The research was performed by researchers led by biologist Xabier López Aranguren at the University Hospital of Navarra (Spain) jointly with the Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA, University of Navarra), and at the Centre for Molecular and Vascular Biology at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).
The results were published recently in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Acute peripheral vascular disease involves the obstruction of blood circulation because of a blockage of the artery supplying blood to it.
If not treated in time, the ischemia can cause various complications.
The worst is tissue necrosis, gangrene, or even the loss of an affected limb.
The basic effect is loss of vascularization in the affected area, as well as in the muscles.
The researchers analysed the role and potential of two different types of cell-based treatments for peripheral vascular disease.
The analysis used experimental mice models treated using MAPC cells implant and mononucleate cells from bone marrow.
MAPCs can proliferate and differentiate in multiple tissues and have the characteristics of stem cells.
The most important finding was that adult MAPC stem cells are more effective when injected without pre-differentiation, the scientists said, not only because they contribute in increasing the quantity of arteries and veins generated in the new area, but also because they manage to enhance muscle regeneration.
The research concluded that the MAPC progenitor cells implanted in mice achieved an indirect improvement of the muscle and a direct enhancement of the vessels.
On the other hand, the study also showed that, although the mononucleate cells are capable of regenerating in the short or medium term, the vascularization of the mice damaged by the ischemia may have a negative effect in the long term.
This is because transplanting mononucleate cells into the limbs of mice generate greater fibrosis with time.
This has caused some controversy regarding a number of current clinical studies that propose the use of mononucleate cells from bone marrow.
According to the researchers, the study was carried out on both cell populations from mice as well as humans.
During the research the team from the University Hospital at the University of Navarra and CIMA was responsible for the experiments with human cells, while the University of Leuven team was in charge of the tests with mice cells.
Analysing the results from both models, the same degree of efficacy was observed, to such an extent that the experiments undertaken with MAPCs from mice and those from humans overlap, i.e. benefits are identical.
Other scientists involved in the research include Felipe Prósper (University Hospital of Navarra and CIMA), and Aernout Luttun and Catherine M. Verfaille (Catholic University of Leuven).
Contact: Xabier López Aranguren, email@example.com