Pittsburgh researchers led by Dr. Michael Chancellor injected human muscle-derived stem cells into the periurethral muscle of a well-established animal model for stress urinary incontinence. After four weeks, the model’s leak-point pressure — the pressure at which urine would leak from the bladder — had been restored to normal levels. In other words they were cured of incontinence. Incontinence affects 13 million Americans.

“In past studies we have shown that muscle-derived cells from rats have been able to restore deficient muscle in the bladder,” said Chancellor, a urology professor at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Using human muscle-derived cells was the next step in bringing this therapy to humans.”

The scientists believe the human muscle-derived cells restored leak-point pressure to normal levels by differentiating into new muscle fibers, which prevented periurethral muscle atrophy.

Clinical trials using muscle-derived cell therapy for incontinence are now under way in Toronto.

Source: Science Daily [www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20050831-16574400-bc-us-incontinence.xml]