Korean scientists have showed the beneficial effects of adult mesenchymal stem cells in improving the lifespan and extending the overall health of rats through intravenous stem cell injections. The joint research study headed by Professor Kim from Chungbuk National University and Dr. Ra from Biostar has been published in the international medical journal, Stem Cells Translation Medicine.
Ageing tends to cause progressive decline of cognitive function accompanied with health issues. It also has an impact on the stem cell population and their loss of function to repair and renew the damages caused in the body. Mesenchymal stem cells are adult stem cells found in bone marrow, liver, lungs, peripheral blood, cord blood, adipose tissue etc. These multipotent stem cells are capable of repairing and renewing new tissue, thus preferred in regenerative medicine. Mesenchymal stem cells in the umbilical cord tissue are used in various clinical studies across the world due to their enormous therapeutic potential.
The scientists have tested the working of adipose tissue derived adult stem cells in the mice model and published their findings. According to the research, the scientists have intravenously injected human adipose derived stem cellsinto 10-month old rats every month till their death; each injection contained 1 million mesenchymal stem cells. The results showed improvement in cognitive functions such as memory, learning skills etc. The injected mesenchymal stem cells helped in the regeneration of brain’s blood vessels, thereby extending the lifespan of these rats by 31.3%. When injected, these stem cells reached brain and differentiated into brain cells which helped in the activation of cholinergic and dopaminergic nerves along with the removal of CCL11, a Chemokine as it prevents the regeneration of brain cells. These actions triggered the brain tissue regeneration which in turn improved the cognitive activity and physical vitality of the rats.
The mesenchymal stem cells derived from amniotic placenta also worked on the same mechanism of regenerating brain cells thereby increasing the life expectancy of rats by up to 23.4%. These results prove that the stem cellsinjected through intravenous injections can extend the lifespan and improve the cognitive function. The co-corresponding author of the study, Dr. Ra believes that with further research on new stem cell techniques, it is possible to commercialize this therapy within 5 years of time period for humans.