0133 GMT July 23, 2018
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers sought to find the source of cells to rebuild muscles, UPI wrote.
They found that teratomas — benign tumors that produce many types of cells, including hair follicles, muscle, and glands — could get the job done.
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder in which muscle tissue wastes away and loses function.
Lead author Dr. Michael Kyba, a professor in the Minnesota School of Medical School's Department of Pediatrics, said, "The goal of this research was to seek in unexplored places a source of cells that, when transplanted, would rebuild skeletal muscle and demonstrate significant improvements in muscle strength and resilience.”
For the study, researchers refined and sorted cells from animal teratomas, injected a small number of teratoma-derived cells into a diseased muscle.
They found the 40,000 teratoma-derived cells regenerated 80 percent of this muscle versus the 5 percent to 10 percent regeneration that is now possible.
Additionally, the new cells developed muscle with muscle stem cells, and showed significant improvement over controlling muscle, including force and contraction.
The researchers noted that although cells can be regenerated, they need to ensure the therapy is safe for humans. At this point, they said they see no adverse events.
Sunny Chan, an assistant professor in the Minnesota Medical School's Department of Pediatrics, said, "The fact that teratomas harbor cells of such greater potency than those that spontaneously differentiate when we culture them in a dish is remarkable.
"Indeed, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places."