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Cell Transplantation May Improve Bladder Function

Animal study suggests transplantation of certain cell types may aid patients with spinal cord injuries

FRIDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- In rats with spinal cord injury, transplantation of neuronal-glial restricted precursors or bone marrow stromal cells leads to significant improvement in bladder function but falls short of inducing full recovery, according to a study published in the June issue of The Journal of Urology.

Gokhan Temeltas, M.D., of Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, and colleagues conducted experiments in 30 rats, which were divided into four groups: sham operation, spinal cord injury plus neuronal restricted precursor/glial restricted precursor transplantation, spinal cord injury plus bone marrow stromal cell transplantation, and spinal cord injury control.

The researchers found that the transplanted cells established themselves in the injured spinal cord area. Compared to the spinal cord injury control rats, they found that rats treated with transplanted cells had significantly improved baseline pressure, maximum capacity, mean uninhibited contraction amplitude, mean voiding pressure, voided volume, and post-void residual volume. They also found that baseline pressure was higher in rats treated with neuronal restricted precursor/glial restricted precursor transplantation than in those treated with bone marrow stromal cell transplantation. However, they did not observe a full functional recovery in any rats receiving transplanted cells.

"This study revealed some beneficial effects of neuronal restricted precursor/glial restricted precursor or neural cell derived from bone marrow stromal cell transplantation following experimental spinal cord injury," the authors conclude. "However, further experimental and clinical studies are required to advance this treatment modality."

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