New study into bladder regeneration heralds organ replacement treatment

November 19, 2010

Researchers in the United States have developed a medical model for regenerating bladders using stem cells harvested from a patient's own bone marrow. The research, published in STEM CELLS, is especially relevant for paediatric patients suffering from abnormally developed bladders, but also represents another step towards new organ replacement therapies.

The research, led by Dr Arun Sharma and Earl Cheng from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Children's Memorial Research Center, focused on bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) taken from the patient. Previously studies into the regenerative capacity of cells in bladders have focused on animal models, but these have translated poorly in clinical settings.

"Advances in the use of bone marrow stem cells taken from the patient opens up new opportunities for exploring organ replacement therapies, especially for bladder regeneration", said senior author Sharma. "Several findings from our study have demonstrated the plasticity of stem cells derived from bone marrow which make them ideal for this type of work."

The team discovered that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have phenotypic and physiological similarities with bladder smooth muscle cells (bSMCs) implying that MSCs can serve as an alternative cell source for potentially damaged bSMCs.

"For our research we developed a primate-based model, using the baboon bladder in conjunction with bone marrow MSCs to attempt partial bladder regeneration," said Sharma. "We found that the mesenchymal stem cells utilized throughout the study retained the ability to populate a surgically grafted area while remaining active 10 weeks after surgery."

The transplanted bone marrow cells also retained the ability to express key smooth muscle cell markers, attributes that are required for the continual expansion and contractile cycles of a functional bladder.

Currently information about the cellular and molecular interactions that govern bladder regeneration is scarce, however the team's research demonstrates the feasibility of MSCs in partial bladder regeneration and their use of a primate-based mode provides valuable insight into these processes as they may apply to humans."

"This newly described bladder augmentation model represents a unique insight into the bladder regeneration process and provides strong evidence that MSCs can be exploited for tissue engineering purposes," concluded Sharma. "The non-human primate bladder augmentation model established in this study will also further provide key pre-clinical data that may eventually be translated in a clinical setting."

"Bioengineering the repair of the bladder is not a simple matter. The combination of the clinical SIS material and patient supplied MSCs provides a good combination for further testing," said Mark Pittenger, Associate Editor of STEM CELLS. "Dr. Sharma and his colleagues are advancing the pioneering work of Dr. Anthony Atala. The progress in this field in the last few years is quite promising and more clinical studies are needed."
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This paper is published in STEM CELLS. Media Wishing to request a copy should contact Lifesciencenews@wiley.com or phone +44 (0)1243 770 375

Full Citation: Sharma A, Bury M, Marks A, Fuller N, Meisner J, Tapaskar N, Hall L, Matoka D, Cheng E, "A Non-Human Primate Model for Urinary Bladder Regeneration Utilizing Autologous Sources of Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells", STEM CELLS, Wiley-Blackwell, November 2010: DOI

About the Research: This work was performed in conjunction with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Urology, Children's Memorial Hospital Division of Pediatric Urology, and the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM) and through a generous gift from Sara C. Star

About STEM CELLS: 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: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1549-4918

STEM CELLS is co-published by AlphaMed Press and Wiley-Blackwell.

About AlphaMed Press: Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC and Craigavon, United Kingdom publishes two internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS®, now in its 27th year, is the world's first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® (www.TheOncologist.com), also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, is in its 14th year and is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. Both journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines. AlphaMed Press publishes the Stem Cells Portal online (www.StemCellsPortal.com), as well as freestanding monographs and books, and is renowned for its excellence and speed in the publication of the peer-reviewed proceedings of major international symposia. For more information on AlphaMed Press, please visit www.alphamedpress.org.

About Wiley-Blackwell

Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world's leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit www.wileyblackwell.com or our new online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), one of the world's most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities.

Children's Memorial Research Center is the research arm of Children's Memorial Hospital, the pediatric teaching hospital for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The research center is also one of 29 interdisciplinary research centers and institutes of the Feinberg School.

For more information contact Peggy Murphy, Children's Memorial Research Center at 773.755.6341 or pmjones@childrensmemorial.org.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

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