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Stem Cells Used to Reverse Paralysis in Animals

Arrow imageeValencia, Spain – January 28, 2009 – A new study has found that transplantation of stem cells from the lining of the spinal cord, called ependymal stem cells, reverses paralysis associated with spinal cord injuries in laboratory tests. The findings show that the population of these cells after spinal cord injury was many times greater than comparable cells from healthy animal subjects. The results open a new window on spinal cord regenerative strategies. The study is published in the journal Stem Cells.


The transplanted cells were found to proliferate after spinal cord injury and were recruited by the specific injured area. When these cells were transplanted into animals with spinal cord injury, they regenerated ten times faster while in the transplant subject than similar cells derived from healthy control animals.


Spinal cord injury is a major cause of paralysis, and the associated trauma destroys numerous cell types, including the neurons that carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body. In many spinal injuries, the cord is not actually severed, and at least some of the signal-carrying nerve cells remain intact. However, the surviving nerve cells may no longer carry messages because oligodendrocytes, which comprise the insulating sheath of the spinal cord, are lost.


The regenerative mechanism discovered was activated when a lesion formed in the injured area. After a lesion formed in the transplant subject, the stem cells were found to have a more effective ability to differentiate into oligodendrocytes and other cell types needed to restore neuronal function.


Currently, there are no effective therapies to reverse this disabling condition in humans. However, the presence of these stem cells in the adult human spinal cords suggests that stem cell-associated mechanisms might be exploited to repair human spinal cord injuries.


Given the serious social and health problems presented by diseases and accidents that destroy neuronal function, there is an ever-increasing interest in determining whether adult stem cells might be utilized as a basis of regenerative therapies.


“The human body contains the tools to repair damaged spinal cords. Our work clearly demonstrates that we need both adult and embryonic stem cells to understand our body and apply this knowledge in regenerative medicine,” says Miodrag Stojkovic, co-author of the study. “There are mechanisms in our body which need to be studied in more detail since they could be mobilized to cure spinal cord injuries.”

This study is published in Stem Cells. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact .


To view the abstract for this article, please click here.


Miodrag Stojkovic, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director and Head of the Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory at Centro de Investigacion Principe Felipe. Dr. Stojkovic can be reached for questions by contacting


Stem Cells, a peer reviewed journal published monthly, provides a forum for prompt publication of original investigative papers and concise reviews. The journal covers all aspects of stem cells: embryonic stem cells/induced pluripotent stem cells; tissue-specific stem cells; cancer stem cells; the stem cell niche; stem cell epigenetics, genomics and proteomics; and translational and clinical research. For more information, please visit


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Stem Cell Decision Worries some Scientists

LOS ANGELES — While praised by scientists, President Obama’s decision to lift restrictions on federal financing of embryonic stem cell research could cause state governments and philanthropists to pull back on billions of dollars they have pledged for such work.

A number of states and philanthropies rushed in to fill the gap after President George W. Bush imposed the restrictions in 2001. California voters alone approved spending $3 billion over 10 years, making the state’s taxpayers the nation’s largest financial backers of the research.

But Mr. Obama’s decision, announced Monday, has removed the original raison d’être for the California program and others like it. And with most states facing severe budget pressures, it may prove difficult to justify spending the money.

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Obama Lifts Limits on Stem Cell Research

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STEM CELLS is proud to announce the appointment of four new associate editors. Working closely with us in the peer review process, they will be vital in maintaining the standards of excellence in research that the journal has achieved over its 25-year span. Each is a world leader in their field and brings many years of experience to our team. Their expertise covers a broad array of stem cell topics, including embryonic stem cells (ESC), Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC), regenerative medicine, and translational medicine.

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Rainbow Of Heroes Walk

Dear Friend of AlphaMed Press:

On Saturday, May 2nd, AlphaMed Press staff will be participating in The 9th Annual Rainbow of Heroes Walk to help support Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (PBMT) patients and their families.

Recent Article from STEM CELLS Express Generates Significant News Coverage

Reprogrammed Mouse Fibroblasts Differentiate into Cells of the Cardiovascular and Hematopoietic Lineages

Katja Schenke-Layland, Katrin E. Rhodes, Ekaterini Angelis, Yekaterina Butylkova, Sepideh Heydarkhan-Hagvall, Christos Gekas, Rui Zhang, Joshua I. Goldhaber, Hanna K. Mikkola, Kathrin Plath, W. Robb Maclellan
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Young Investigator Award (April 21, 2008)

Durham, North Carolina, USA and Seoul, Korea. April 22, 2008 – AlphaMed Press, publisher of the peer-reviewed journal STEM CELLS, announces that the annual STEM CELLS Young Investigator Award, with co-sponsorship from the International Stem Cell Symposium, will be presented on June 20, 2008 in Seoul, Korea. The US$10,000 award will be presented to a young scientist who, as principal author, published a paper in STEM CELLS during the past year that was judged to be most important by the Journal’s editorial board jury. The awardee will also be invited to present a paper at the 6th International Stem Cell Symposium with support provided by the conference organizers.

Young Investigator Award 2008 (April 28, 2008)

Monday, April 28, 2008 - National "Stem Cell" Award to Be Given in Symposium Awardee to Be Named at 6th Int'l Stem Cell Symposium

AlphaMed Press, publisher of the peer-reviewed journal STEM CELLS, announces that the annual STEM CELLS Young Investigator Award, with co-sponsorship from the International Stem Cell Symposium, will be presented on June 20, 2008 in Seoul, Korea.

AlphaMed Press - Exhibits and Conference Calendar


Exhibits and Conference Calendar


AlphaMed Press will be exhibiting at the following conferences in 2008:


Please stop by for complimentary issues and great giveaways and discuss with us possible ways we may partner.






6th ISSCR Annual Meeting -
International Society for Stem Cell Research
June 11-14, 2008
Philadelphia, PA
Booth 701


ONS 33rd Annual Congress -
Oncology Nursing Society
May 15-18, 2008
Philadelphia, PA
Booth 332


50th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition -
American Society of Hematology
December 6-9, 2008
San Francisco, CA


44th ASCO Annual Meeting -
American Society of Clinical Oncology
May 30- June 1, 2008
Chicago, IL
Booth 3091



50th ASTRO Annual Meeting -
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology
and Oncology
September 21-25, 2008
Boston, MA
Booth 2414




31st Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
December 10-14, 2008
San Antonio, TX


Pictures from 2008 Symposium

Dr. Lena Motoda



Conference Site - The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul



Conference Entrance


Setting up STEM CELLS Booth




Dr. Ann Murphy at STEM CELLS Booth


STEM CELLS Group at Booth




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