New breakthrough in nerve regeneration, safer and more effective new therapy-stem cell exosomes

Brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases are irreversible symptoms known to the current science, and most neurodegenerative diseases and brain damage can cause dementia. It is estimated that there are more than 270,000 dementia populations in Taiwan. This is probably necessary for entering an elderly society. Challenges faced. In addition to advanced age, various levels of collisions, abnormal living habits, high blood pressure, diabetes, long-term stress and mental illness are all possible factors that cause brain damage or degeneration. Although a number of clinical studies in recent years have shown that stem cells are expected to repair nervous system damage, because of the need for surgical implantation of stem cells, they still have to face complications caused by cell implantation and the formation of heterotopic tissue.

After 7 years of research, the research team of Li Huarong, an associate researcher of the Institute of Cell and Systems Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, found that the use of special techniques to stimulate mesenchymal stem cells can isolate “Stem Cell-derived Exosomes” with cell repair functions. Exosomes) and identified active substances that promote brain nerve regeneration and brain function recovery. If mice with brain damage were injected with stem cell exosomes, it was observed that the damaged nerve cells could grow synapses and the number of nerve cells could be restored to 60% of the original. This research shows that stem cell exosomes are more capable of promoting tissue regeneration than mesenchymal stem cells, and can avoid the risks and side effects of cell implantation surgery, bringing new breakthroughs in regenerative medicine. This series of studies has been published in the authoritative international regenerative medicine journal “STEM CELLS Translational Medicine” in 2019 and 2020, and has been reported in foreign media columns.

In recent years, because stem cells have been discovered to have the potential to regenerate and differentiate into cells of various tissues and organs, research on stem cell-based “regenerative medicine” has made rapid progress. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) discovered by Japanese scholar Shinya Yamanaka are regarded as emerging medical treatments. The star of tomorrow. After the Ministry of Health and Welfare passed the “Regulations on the Management Measures for the Implementation or Use of Specific Medical Technology Inspection and Testing Medical Instruments” in September 2019, the field of regenerative medicine in Taiwan has officially entered the stage of cell therapy product development, clinical application, and substantial benefit to patients. Although a number of clinical studies have shown that stem cells are expected to repair nervous system damage, stem cell culture and stable storage are not easy, and they still need to be implanted surgically. The complications caused by cell implantation surgery and the possibility of heterotopic tissue formation are still This is a major concern of stem cell therapy.

In order to make stem cell therapy and possible applications more popular, and to solve concurrent negative reactions, the research team is committed to discovering the key to stem cell repair capabilities. Studies have found that cellular exosomes are a tool used by cells to communicate with the outside world, and they carry different messages in different environments. Using special techniques to stimulate mesenchymal stem cells that are widely found in bone marrow and fat can isolate “stem cell exosomes” that have the function of repairing abnormal cell loss.In experiments on mice with damaged brains, injections were used to provide exosomes with the ability to “repair”. It was observed that the damaged nerve cells could grow synapses after 1 week, and the damage was found after 1 month. The number of regional nerve cells can be restored to 60% of the original, and the animal’s cognitive, learning and memory functions have been improved. After further analyzing the composition of inducible mesenchymal stem cell exosomes developed by the team, it identified several active substances containing 2′,3′-Cyclic Nucleotide 3′-Phosphodiesterase that promote brain nerve regeneration and brain function recovery. It shows that stem cell exosomes have the ability to promote tissue regeneration, and because there is no need for surgical implantation of stem cells, the original risks and side effects of stem cell therapy can be avoided, and automated preparations can be made, which has the potential to become a new direction for regenerative medicine. Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine), expressed high expectations: “I look forward to seeing the successful development of this technology in the treatment of brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases.”

This technology has obtained a patent from the Republic of China, and simultaneously applied for patents in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Dr. Li Huarong said that although the current research scope of stem cell exosomes is limited to the treatment of nerve-related diseases, it is expected to be used in the future to treat degenerative diseases, tissue or organ damage, cell defects, neurodegenerative diseases, brain and spinal cord trauma, Stroke, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s disease, myocardial infarction, muscular dystrophy and other diseases.

Article source: https://www.mohw.gov.tw/fp-16-54763-1.html
Release Date: 2020/07/13