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Bone marrow fusion with nerve cells may repair damage, Stanford researchers say

time, the group found an increasing number of Purkinje cells that glowed green under a microscope. Looking closely at these cells, they found two nuclei - one from the original Purkinje cell and one from the fused bone marrow cell. They also found that the compact nucleus of the bone marrow cell expanded over time to take on the appearance of the more loosely packed Purkinje cell nucleus.

The bone marrow nucleus in the fused cell also acts like a Purkinje cell nucleus, they found. When the group transplanted mice with bone marrow cells that only glow green when Purkinje cell genes are active, they found normal-looking Purkinje cells that glowed green. This showed that the bone marrow cells had fused with Purkinje cells and activated Purkinje cell genes.

Blau said the next step is to learn under what circumstances bone marrow cells fuse with Purkinje cells. "If you know what those signals are, you could deliver the signal to damaged tissue and recruit the body's own bone marrow cells to treat disease." Blau hopes these recruited bone marrow cells may be a way of repairing damage caused by injury, stroke or such illnesses Parkinson's disease.

Other Stanford researchers who participated in the study include postdoctoral scholar Clas Johansson, PhD, and research associate Angelica Trejo.


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Contact: Amy Adams
amyadams@stanford.edu
650-723-3900
Stanford University Medical Center
15-Oct-2003


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