Brain stem cells transplanted into the brain of mice successfully without anti-rejection drugs

A group of researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine states, in a work published in the journal Brain, that they succeeded in successfully transplanting brain stem cells into the brain of a mouse and without the use of anti-rejection drugs.

Just the lack of use of these drugs, if the same method can also be applied on humans, could advance the research field of brain stem cells, in particular for those therapies that are implemented on children who are born with a rare class of genetic diseases.

In these diseases, myelin, which is the protective coating of neurons, does not get to form normally. This is a rare condition that affects about one in 100,000 children in the United States. One of them is Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease.

To achieve this, Piotr Walczak, a professor of radiology and radiological sciences, injected, together with his team, into the brain of mice glial cells to independently produce the myelin sheath around neurons.

With a particular specialized camera to capture brain images of mice, the researchers found that one of the groups of rodents they treated showed that glial cells injected into the brain lasted for over 203 days, which showed that they had not been eliminated from the system immune of the mouse.

And not only were they not eliminated but they assumed their normal function of protecting neurons by populating the appropriate parts of the brain.

“We interpret this result as a success in selectively blocking immune system T cells from killing transplanted cells,” reports lead author Shen Li.