Researchers for the first time demonstrate the presence of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the human extra-ocular muscle (EOM) tissues and these EOM-derived MSCs could be successfully differentiated into neuroectodermal cells in vitro.
Stem cell-based therapy offers a great promise for treating central nervous system disorders. MSCs have been proposed as suitable candidates since they exhibit good neuronal differentiation potential. However, for better therapeutic outcome, MSCs need to be derived from a source with high neuronal differentiation capacity.
In the current study published in PLoS One, the team tested the in vitro neuronal differentiation potential of MSCs derived from EOM. EOMs are a group of highly specialized muscle type that control eye movements and recent evidences suggest that EOM possesses high proliferation capacity. The study led by Prof. Bithiah Jaganathan cultured human EOM and studied its growth and differentiation profile. The study showed that MSCs derived from EOM shared similar gene expression and phenotype profiles as that of bone marrow derived MSCs. They also differentiated into neuroectodermal cells.
Thus, the study proposes EOM as suitable source of stem cells for the treatment of neurological diseases and opens prospective for future translation of the findings in vivo.
Source: Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Extra Ocular Muscle Harbor Neuroectodermal Differentiation Potential. Mawrie D et al., PLoS One 2016. DOI