Demonstrates That Human Hair Follicle Stem Cells Repair Nerves.
Researchers led by a team at AntiCancer, Inc. have demonstrated that stem cells derived from human hair follicles can repair severed nerves in mice. After stem cells from the hair follicle are injected into the injured nerve they differentiate into Schwann cells which promote nerve growth allowing the nerve to rejoin. The repaired nerve regains function allowing the mouse to walk normally. This work was done in collaboration with Kitasato University School of Medicine in Sagamihara, Kanagawa in Japan.
Previously, AntiCancer and Kitasato scientists showed that hair follicle stem cells are pluripotent and can differentiate into many cell types, including neurons, and named them hfPS (hair follicle pluripotent stem) cells.
"hfPS cells have important advantages for regenerative medicine over embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in that they are easily accessible from any patient and don't cause immunological problems, they don't cause tumors and they don't have ethical problems," said Charlene M. Cooper, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of AntiCancer. The current study was published in the current issue of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry.