Stem cell infusions could treat babies impacted with rare bone conditions, as well as older people – as well as astronauts who lose bone mass in orbit

If the treatment is found to be effective, it could be given to affected infants at birth, or even while they are still in the tummy, to help them develop healthier skeletons.
Photograph: Stocktrek/Alamy

People with fragile bones could have their skeletons beefed plan infusions of stem cells harvested from pregnant women, experts say.

Scientists proposed the unusual treatment after studies showed that the treatment led to 78% less fractures in animals that were bred to have a brittle bone fragments disorder.

The finding offers raised hopes for treating rare bone conditions that have an effect on some babies from birth, but the same procedure has got the potential to help older people with osteoporosis, and even astronauts which lose bone mass in orbit, the researchers mentioned.

“ The stem tissue we’ ve used are excellent at protecting bones, ” said Pascale Guillot, who led the study at University or college College London. “ The bones become much stronger as well as the way the bone is organised internally is of higher quality. ”

Osteoporosis impacts more than three million people in Britain alone, as well as the estimated costs of fractures reaches billions of pounds per year. Brittle bone disease is rare in newborns, however the 70 UK babies born with the condition each year may suffer fractures even before they leave the womb.

In a series of experiments, Guillot attempted to investigate whether stem cells collected from human amniotic fluid could help strengthen weak bones in mice. The lady found that infusions of the cells did just that, however, not by forming fresh bone themselves. Instead, the originate cells released growth factors that made existing bone tissue cells in the mice multiply and mature more effectively.

“ The discovery could have the profound effect on the lives of patients who have delicate bones and could stop a large number of their painful fractures, ” Guillot said.

The come cells used in the study had been shed by babies in to the amniotic fluid. These very young stem cells are usually more potent that stem cells collected from adults. Guillot said that the cells could be collected for future treatments whenever pregnant women have tests on their amniotic fluid, and even whenever doctors induce water breaking prior to childbirth. “ You are able to collect the fluid and isolate the cells from it, ” Guillot said.

The scientists hope to start a clinical trial in humans in the next 2 yrs. If the treatment is found to be effective, it could be given to affected children at birth, or even while they are still in the tummy, to help them develop healthier skeletons. Unlike other tissue, the stem cells used in the study can be transplanted in one person to another without having to match the recipient and subscriber.

The UCL scientists aren’t the first to show how stem cells can strengthen suffering bones. Earlier this year, researchers in Toronto infused stem tissues from healthy mice into others with osteoporosis. Not just did the recipient animals grow stronger skeletons, however bones regained the healthy coral-like appearance that brittle bones destroys.

In the longer term, researchers aim to identify the crucial chemicals that stem cells discharge to beef up bone formation. “ We could inject these types of factors into older people, or into astronauts, to give bone fragments forming cells a boost, ” Guillot added. The research is usually published in the journal, Scientific Reports.