Harvard University researchers have successfully found that the stem cell therapy can be used as a way to boost the body’s ability to replace or produce new tissues. Transplanting adult stem cells into mice with an illness like muscular dystrophy (MD) helped rebuild muscle structure and strength. Thus the study presents a prospect of similar treatments for people with the condition in near future.

Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disease and causes rapid and progressive weakening of muscle tissue. And so far, there is no cure for the disease.

The idea behind stem cell therapy is to find a way to boost the body’s ability to replace or produce new tissues. The mice have a faulty dystrophin gene, the same problem which causes Duchenne MD in humans. They then took adult muscle stem cells from other mice and injected them into the diseased mice’s muscles.

Dr Amy Wagers, who led the project, said:

“This study indicates the presence of renewing muscle stem cells in adult skeletal muscle, and demonstrates the potential benefit of stem cell therapy for the treatment of muscle degenerative diseases such as muscular dystrophy.”

However, one of the challenges in this approach is finding the correct cells, but the researchers developed a way to identify them using particular proteins found of their surface. However, the researchers said that one obstacle to using the cells in MD was finding a way to distribute the cells to every affected muscle throughout the body.

Source: BBC NEWS