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28 Jun 2015

A New Pill to Stimulate Stem Cells for Tissue Regeneration

A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University and UT Southwestern Medical Center, USA have developed a new drug that has the ability to rapidly repair the damages caused in liver, colon and bone marrow without any adverse effects.

This drug was tested positive on animal model and saved mice that otherwise would have died due to bone transplant. This new drug has not been tested on humans yet, but the team is planning to develop it for humans within the next 3 years. The initial study findings on animal models were published in the journal, Science.

How it Works?

Prostaglandin, PGE2 is a molecule produced in the body that helps in the proliferation of many types of tissue stem cells. When there is damage, the prostaglandin supports the production of stem cells that are regenerative in nature and repair the damaged tissue thereby heal the affected part of the body. A previous study has demonstrated that 15- hydroxyprostaglandin dehyrogenase gene (15-PGDH) is known to degrade and reduce the amount of prostaglandin in the body. The degradation of prostaglandin may affect the proliferation of stem cells thereby slowing down the body’s healing process.

The team hypothesized that the new drug, SWO33291 will target the inhibition of 15-PGDH gene which in turn would increase the prostaglandin molecule in the tissue. This would result in a faster tissue healing process inside the human body. The researchers found the drug working in a test tube, inside a cell and importantly in animal models. The mice that were affected by radiation were injected with SWO33291 and given a partial bone marrow transplant. The mice that received the drug have survived while the rest died. The mice injected with the new drug also recovered normal blood cell count six days earlier, compared to the other mice.

Professor Sanford Markowitz of Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine said that they have developed a drug that acts like a vitamin, stimulating the ability of the tissue stem cells to repair the damaged tissue. "The drug heals damage in multiple tissues, which suggests to us that it may have applications in treating many diseases," he added.

If human clinical trials show positive outcomes, we may soon have a pill that repairs damaged liver, colon and bone marrow before it gets worse and also improve the recovery time.



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