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Study Advances Muscular Dystrophy Research and Treatment

Dental stem cells (DSC), in the latest example of their plasticity, were differentiated into dystrophin producing multinucleated muscle cells in a study published in PLoS One. Dr. Jeremy Mao, professor and director of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of Columbia University Medical Center, led the study. Dr. Mao's utilization of myogenic progenitor cells derived from DSC demonstrated significantly higher numbers of dystrophin producing cells than the parent heterogeneous stem cells from which they were derived. The latest research suggests therapeutic potential for muscle regeneration and has implications for disorders such as muscular dystrophy where the inability of the body to produce dystrophin results in health complications. The latest research shows the ability of DSC to differentiate into bone, myocardiocytes (heart muscle), and insulin producing pancreatic beta cells, supporting the wisdom of banking stem cells from teeth.
StemSave CEO Art Greco stated, "The inherent plasticity (the ability to differentiate into different types of cells) of DSC makes them valuable as a source of stem cells to treat a potentially wide range of disease and trauma. These valuable stem cells can be recovered during routine dental procedures making it both convenient and affordable to bank your own stem cells for use in emerging regenerative therapies."
(Source: StemSave news release, November 5, 2010)

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