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AntiCancer Release: Stem Cells From Hair Follicles Rival Embryonic Stem Cells In Their Potential For Regenerative Medicine


12/19/2005 1:41:12 PM

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2005--Researchers led by a team at AntiCancer, Inc., in San Diego have found that stem cells from hair follicles of mice can be used to rejoin severed nerves in mouse models. Easily accessible hair follicle stem cells, which normally function to form the hair follicle which in turn form the growing hair in all mammals including man, have been shown to have great potential to produce nerve cells and many other types of cells. The hair follicle stem cells were used by the AntiCancer researchers to rejoin nerves in the legs of mice that were experimentally severed. After injection of the hair follicle stem cells, the nerves were rejoined and were able to regain function, enabling the mice to walk normally again. The hair follicle stem cells seem to have similar potential to embryonic stem cells for forming different types of cells that can be used for treatment of many types of diseases. This is a very important development, since hair follicle stem cells are readily accessible from anyone and can be grown and expanded in culture for therapeutic use. Hair follicle stem cells do not have the ethical problems associated with embryonic and fetal stem cells. These new developments are now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. AntiCancer researchers are looking forward to working with human hair follicle stem cells in the mouse models to determine their therapeutic potential for neurological and other diseases. In the future, hair follicle stem cells will be tested for their ability to treat a wide variety of degenerative diseases.

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