UC San Diego Researchers Suggest Stem Cell Transplantation Could Treat Alzheimer’s

Ongoing research into a potential cure for Alzheimer’s disease has revealed that stem cell transplantation may be the key to treating the debilitating mental disease. Ongoing research at the University of California San Diego has pointed to stem cell transplants as a promising alternative treatment for the mental condition.

Alzheimer’s disease affects parts of the brain that are involved in language, thought and memory, causing a steady decline in memory and cognitive abilities that eventually robs patients of their ability to take part in their day-to-day lives or even hold meaningful conversations. There are no existing cures for the neurodegenerative condition, and patients often have to rely on treatments that arrest the progression of the disease and alleviate symptoms.

However, UC San Diego researchers found that transplanting hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells into mice with Alzheimer’s resulted in significant reductions in Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms. The mice that received stem cell transplants also exhibited reduced inflammation, better cognition and memory, and less build-up of β-amyloid compared to other mice with Alzheimer’s.

Published in the “Cell Reports” journal in August 2023, the findings suggest that stem cell transplantations may be able to alleviate Alzheimer’s by targeting several biological pathways, a feat conventional treatments struggle to achieve. According to senior study author and UC San Diego School of Medicine professor Stephanie Cherqui, PhD., hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell transplantation could be the key to reducing Alzheimer’s disease complications and developing a promising cure for the neurodegenerative disease.

Prior research at Cherqui’s laboratory had suggested that stem cell transplants could treat mice with the neurodegenerative disease Friedreich’s ataxia as well as a lysosomal storage disease called cystinosis. Based on this research, first study author and postdoctoral researcher Priyanka Mishra, PhD, and her colleagues implanted hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells into mice with Alzheimer’s to incredibly encouraging results.

Stem cell transplants seem to deliver their benefits against Alzheimer’s by affecting a kind of neural-immune call called microglia, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease onset and progression. Continued inflammation in the microglia can lead to the release of inflammatory chemokines, cytokines and similar chemicals, resulting in the build-up of β-amyloid plaque and contributing to Alzheimer’s.

Since microglia are involved in getting rid of β-amyloid plaques under normal conditions, the UC San Diego researchers theorized that encouraging the production of new and healthy microglia through stem cell transplants could arrest the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

Future studies will be necessary to explore the connection between reduced Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and stem cell transplants in human models and whether it can lead to the development of more effective Alzheimer’s treatments.

Other teams, such as the one at Renovaro BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RENB), are also exploring novel cell and gene therapies targeting hard-to-treat cancers and major infectious diseases. The success of such programs will help to combat the significant health and economic threats that these conditions present.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Renovaro BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RENB) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RENB

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