Posts Tagged ‘study’

Mice Stem Cell Study Shows Promise for Hypopituitarism Treatment

Pituitary Gland

Hypopituitarism, also known as an underactive pituitary gland,  is a condition that affects the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, in which the pituitary gland does not produce normal amounts of some or all of its hormones. Symptoms of hypopituitarism vary depending on which hormone is no longer being produced by the pituitary gland.

Treatments for hypopituitarism also vary. If the condition is caused as the result of a pituitary tumor, surgery may be needed for treatment. In some cases, hormone therapy is what’s needed to effectively treat hypopituitarism.

However, in the November 2011 issue of Nature, a new report shows promise for the future of hypopituitarism treatment. Japanese scientists successfully treated hypopituitary mice by transplanting pituitary gland tissue they grew from embryonic mice stem cells. After the hypopitiutary mice received the transplanted cells, they began to produce hormones they were previously missing.

Researchers used the mouse stem cells arranged in a three dimensional culture and grew pituitary tissue over the course of three weeks from that culture. The resulting tissue contained all five cell types found in a normal pituitary gland.

Using such technology as a possible treatment for humans suffering from hypopituitarism is not an immediately viable option. Scientists caution that is it unlikely that pituitary tissue grown in labs will behave like functioning pituitary glands. The hope is that someday, treatment for patients with pituitary disorders will be feasible via growing pituitary tissues from the patient’s own tissue.

“If and when the technology becomes developed for humans, it will require the skills of an experienced team of a pituitary endocrinologist and neurosurgeon working together with other specialists in a dedicated pituitary center to fully realize the potential opportunity for patients with pituitary hormonal deficiency,” says Dr. Nelson M. Oyesiku, Co-Director Emory Pituitary Center.

For more information on hypopituitarism, or the endocrinology & neurosurgery treatment teams at Emory, visit the Emory Pituitary website.

Center for Translational Cardiovascular Nanomedicine – Emory & Georgia Tech Researchers Receive new $14M contract from NIH

Georgia Tech and Emory University have received a five-year $14.6 million contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue the development of nanotechnology and biomolecular engineering tools and methodologies for detecting and treating atherosclerosis.

The Center for Translational Cardiovascular Nanomedicine will be directed by Dr. Gang Bao, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Emory University and Georgia Tech.

Contributors from Emory University include: Dr. W. Robert Taylor, Director of Cardiology; Department of Medicine chair Dr. R. Wayne Alexander; Division of Cardiology faculty including Dr. David Harrison, Dr. Young-sup Yoon, and Dr. Charles Searles; Department of Biomedical Engineering Faculty including Dr. Michael Davis, Dr. Hanjoong Jo, Dr. Shuming Nie, and Dr. Xiaoping Hu; and Department of Radiology professor Mark Goodman. Contributors from Georgia Tech include: Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering faculty including Dr. Don Giddens, Dr. Niren Murthy, and Dr. May Dongmei Wang.

Goals for this five-year study include the following:

  • Using nanoparticle probes to image and characterize atherosclerotic plaques
  • Diagnosing cardiovascular disease from a blood sample
  • Designing new methods for delivering anti-atherosclerosis drugs and genes into the body
  • Developing stem cell based therapies to repair damaged heart tissue

We’ll continue to keep you posted on the developments of the Center and on diagnoses and treatments of atherosclerosis that come from the study.