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Breakthrough in stem cell research could lead to new treatment of neuromuscular diseases

Breakthrough in stem cell research could lead to new treatment of neuromuscular diseases

For the first time, researchers succeeded in creating neuromesodermal progenitor (NMPs) cell. The produced cells could be of use in the future to treat neuromuscular diseases. Dr. James Briscoe from the MRC National Institute for Medical Research at the University of Edinburgh led the research project. The findings were published in journal PLOS Biology.

The researchers who were led by Dr. Briscoe have produced NMP-cells in their lab. NMP cells usually develop into spinal cord-, muscular- and bone tissue.

Stemcells of mice and humans were taken to create NMP-cells for the spinal cord. The researchers studied the natural process and mimicked it in vitro. The researcher’s goal is to simulate spine cord tissue and use this tissue to treat neuromuscular diseases, like dystrophy, in the future. It will take years to use the tissue for treatment purposes.

According to Dr. Biscoe, the successful development of stemcells into NMP-cells is a real breakthrough is. According to co-researcher Professor Wilson,  the NMP cells are important because they are the source of the spinal cord, muscle and bone tissue in our body.

The scientists highlight the importance of the development of spinal cord tissue from stemcells, as the attention was previously primarily focused on stemcell research for the development of heart- and liver tissue.

Thanks to this research project, scientists will be able to study the developmental processes of neuromuscular diseases with stemcells of patients who suffer from a neuromuscular disorder.

Source: PLOS Biology.

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