Boost for di­a­betes patients

The East African - - OUTLOOK - By A CORRESPONDENT Xin­hua News Agency

STEM CELLS TAKEN from mus­cle tis­sue could boost blood flow in patients with di­a­betes who de­velop pe­riph­eral artery dis­ease — a painful com­pli­ca­tion in which the pa­tient may re­quire surgery or am­pu­ta­tion.

A study at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois in the US found that an in­jec­tion of the stem cells in mice prompted new blood ves­sels to grow, im­prov­ing cir­cu­la­tion in the af­fected tis­sues and func­tion in the af­fected limbs. The stem cells also in­duced changes in gene ex­pres­sion in the sur­round­ing tis­sues, prompt­ing the re­lease of fac­tors to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and in­crease cir­cu­la­tion.

Study leader Wawrzyniec Lawrence Do­brucki, a pro­fes­sor of bio­engi­neer­ing and medicine at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois, said that the re­sults sug­gest that stem cell treat­ment could be used for patients at se­vere stages of pe­riph­eral artery dis­ease who can­not ex­er­cise.

Stem cell treat­ment

“Stem cell treat­ment could help bring the pa­tient to the level where they can start ex­er­cis­ing or save them am­pu­ta­tion,” said Prof Do­brucki.

The re­searchers also found that in mice given the stem cell in­jec­tions, the gene ex­pres­sion in the leg with pe­riph­eral artery dis­ease was close to that of the un­af­fected leg. Also, com­pared with the mice that did not re­ceive the stem cells, there were genes ac­ti­vated to com­bat some di­a­betic com­pli­ca­tions, for ex­am­ple, genes as­so­ci­ated with in­flam­ma­tion were re­pressed.

Pe­riph­eral artery dis­ease is com­mon in di­a­betic patients, and if left un­treated, of­ten leads to foot ul­cer­a­tions and limb am­pu­ta­tions. There are few treat­ment op­tions.

The study has been pub­lished in the jour­nal Ther­a­nos­tics.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.