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Stem Cell Injection Conquers Osteoporosis in Mice

According to a new study, normal bone structure can be restored in patients diagnosed with osteoporosis. The discovery was published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

An estimated 200 million individuals all over the world are suffering from osteoporosis. Type 1 osteoporosis commonly affects women while both genders are equally at risk for age-related type 2 osteoporosis.

Type 2 osteoporosis involves the deterioration of the bone's inner structure. As the bone becomes less dense, it can impede proper functioning. The condition accounts for over 8 million cases of fractures every year; most of which involves hip fractures, which can lead to disability and death. At present, there is only 1 drug that effectively treats type 2 osteoporosis.

For this study, researchers from the University of Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital used mice as test subjects to see if stem cell injections can help restore normal bone structure or treat defective mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in mice.

They discovered that MSCs can improve bone regeneration. Moreover, these musculoskeletal progenitors can develop as bone cells, which can be transplanted to individuals without risk of rejection.

According to senior author Prof. William Stanford, he discovered a link between faulty MSC and age-related osteoporosis in mice. For this study, he postulated that if osteoporosis results from defective MSC, transplanting healthy ones can produce a therapeutic effect. Within 6 months, the researchers discovered that the healthy bone has reversed osteoporosis.

Co-study author Prof. John E. Davies has this to say: “We had hoped for a general increase in bone health. But the huge surprise was to find that the exquisite inner 'coral-like' architecture of the bone structure of the injected animals, which is severely compromised in osteoporosis, was restored to normal.”

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