Umbilical cord tissue stem cells can effectively reduce abnormal immune system activity in multiple sclerosis
In a recent study published in the journal Oncotarget
, researchers demonstrated that stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissue can effectively reduce abnormal immune system activity in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS patients’ immune system cells, called T-cells, penetrate the brain and attack the myelin coating that supports and protects neurons. These T-cells are basically loose and free to do as they please, so getting these T-cells back "under control" is seen as a critical method to treat MS.
This study shows that umbilical cord–derived mesenchymal stem cells (the stem cells found in cord tissue as opposed to stem cells found in cord blood) have been shown to stimulate the presence of Tregs; Tregs (or T regulatory cells) get those errant T-cells to behave as they should. Cord tissue stem cells essentially act like the Treg cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are immature and can become any type of the cell in the body. The umbilical cord has MSCs found in the cord tissue. Umbilical cord tissue stem cells are more stable, induce lower immune responses and have higher expansion ability compared to MSCs derived from other sources such as bone marrow.
These results, overall, demonstrated that umbilical cord stem cells can effectively reduce abnormal immune system activity in MS.