Adult stem cell pathway could yield better muscle disorder treatments

Cell surface molecules known as ephrins may be the key to guiding injected adult stem cells treatments to envelop an injured muscle, scientists now theorize, which could maximize their use as a tool for repair. The belief is based on research conducted at the University of Missouri and published in the December edition of the journal Development. Scientists think the concept could produce better treatments for muscular dystrophy and other muscle disorders that can leave a patient's satellite stem cells without the ability to stimulate repairs. For these patients, adult stem cell treatments often have limited benefit, they said. The thesis stems from this: Scientists found that cells on glass slides moved in another direction after touching stripes of ephrins, and that ephrin stripes also nudged the same cells into parallel formation, like in actual muscle fibers--a feat never before accomplished in a culture dish. Release