FEB 21, 2020 8:04 PM PST

Healing Bone Fractures

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Studies on rats revealed that two existing drugs can boost repair machinery by triggering the release of bone marrow stem cells. Findings were published in the journal of Regenerative Medicine. These two drugs were used for bone marrow transplants and bladder control and now can be used for treating bone fractures.

Learn more about bone fractures:

The spongy region of bone houses bone marrow that can mobilize different types of stem cells during disease or injury. The research involves investigators not only from Imperial College of London but from Beaumont Health in the U.S.

In the study, researchers used drugs to trigger the bone marrow of healthy rats to release mesenchymal stem cells and help heal bone fractures.

"The body repairs itself all the time. We know that when bones break they will heal, and this requires the activation of stem cells in the bone. However, when the damage is severe, there are limits to what the body can do of its own accord. We hope that by using these existing medications to mobilise stem cells, as we were able to do in rats in our new study, we could potentially call up extra numbers of these stem cells, in order to boost our bodies own ability to mend itself and accelerate the repair process. Further down the line, our work could lead to new treatments to repair all types of bone fracture,” says the corresponding author, Professor Sara Rankin from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London.

The two therapeutics used in the research were a CXCR4 antagonist for bone marrow transplants and a beta-3 adrenergic agonist for bladder control. The rats were administered a single treatment of the two drugs which led to calcium binding to the site of bone injury thus, speeding bone formation and healing. The investigators note that they did not analyze restoration of movement in bone, or repair to additional tissue such as nerves. In addition, one of the therapeutics used was found to trigger fat cells in the bone marrow to secrete endocannabinoids—believed to hold implications in mobilizing stem cells and thereby promoting healing.

"We first need to see if these medications release the stem cells in healthy volunteers before we can then test them in patients with fractures,” says Dr. Tariq Fellous, first author of the research from Imperial's National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI). “We have the drugs and know they are safe to use in humans -- we just need the funding for the human trials."

Researchers believe that the data is good enough to move on to humans.

"Rather than devising new stem cell treatments from scratch that involve lengthy and expensive trials, our approach harnesses the power of the body's own stem cells, using existing drugs,” adds co-author, Dr. Andia Redpath. “We already know the treatments in our study are safe, it's now just a matter of exploring further if they help our bodies heal."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
OCT 01, 2021
Technology
SnapTec® - Single-handed operation for fast and safe sample handling
OCT 01, 2021
SnapTec® - Single-handed operation for fast and safe sample handling
The new Eppendorf Conical Tube SnapTec 50 offers all the advantages of classic conical tubes 50 mL. The decisive, innova ...
OCT 03, 2021
Coronavirus
Merck's COVID-19 Drug Halves Risk of Death in Mild & Moderate Cases
OCT 03, 2021
Merck's COVID-19 Drug Halves Risk of Death in Mild & Moderate Cases
While Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIAID is already stressing that people should still get vaccinated to help reduce COVID-19 in ...
OCT 24, 2021
Microbiology
New Treatment Approach Uses Bacteria to Deliver Drugs to Cancer Cells
OCT 24, 2021
New Treatment Approach Uses Bacteria to Deliver Drugs to Cancer Cells
Bacteria can be found almost everywhere, and they can serve many beneficial purposes. Scientists are now using bacterial ...
NOV 03, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Samoan Plant May Reduce Inflammation as Well as Ibuprofen
NOV 03, 2021
A Samoan Plant May Reduce Inflammation as Well as Ibuprofen
To the people of Samoa, the medicinal qualities of a tree known as matalafi are well known. Now scientists are bringing ...
NOV 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Advances in Medical Cannabis for Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder
NOV 05, 2021
Advances in Medical Cannabis for Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder
Encouraging clinical evidence has recently sparked an emerging interest in the use of CBD-enriched medical cannabis as a ...
NOV 22, 2021
Health & Medicine
Can Nanotechnology Prevent Corneal Graft Rejection?
NOV 22, 2021
Can Nanotechnology Prevent Corneal Graft Rejection?
The cornea is among the essential anatomic features of the eye, responsible for most of the eye’s focusing ability ...
Loading Comments...