Stem Cells That Grow New Blood Vessels

Via EurekAlert!, we learn that a research group has "has identified how to use selected stem cells from bone marrow to grow new blood vessels to treat diseases such as peripheral artery disease. ... [Researchers] drew human bone marrow and simultaneously isolated three different types of stem cells that co-ordinate together to form new blood vessels. These are called pro-angiogenic stem cells. They were purified to remove any inflammatory or contaminated cells, and then injected into the circulation of mice which had one of their leg arteries ligated and removed. The researchers showed how these stem cells have a natural ability to hone in on the area of ischemia to induce blood vessel repair and improve blood flow ... We can select the right stem cells from the patient's own bone marrow and put them back in the area of ischemia to allow these cells to coordinate the formation of new blood vessels. These principles could be applied not only to ischemic limbs, but to aid in the formation of new blood vessels in ischemic tissue anywhere in the body, for example after a stroke or heart attack."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-04/uowo-sct040609.php

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