Repairing fractures by regrowing the spinal cord: this may seem impossible, but this is what researchers in London have managed to do. In NPJ Regenerative Medicine, they explain how they managed this manipulation using a mixture of two drugs. The trial, conducted on rats, was able to resolve vertebral fractures.
Stimulate a natural process
In the event of a fracture, the bone marrow stimulates different types of stem cells to allow tissue repair and regeneration. “The body repairs itself all the time,” says Sara Rankin, lead author of the study. When the bones break, they heal through the activation of stem cells. However, when the injuries are severe, the body can reach its limits. limits.” The test of this cocktail of drugs aims to stimulate the body’s natural regeneration mechanisms to treat these serious cases.
Scientists at Imperial College London used drugs already approved for sale: Plerixafor AMD3100 /CXCR4, used during bone marrow transplantation and beta3-AR agonist which treats urinary disorders. The goal of treatment is to put the bone marrow on alert: it will activate certain types of stem cells, the mesenchymal. These can turn into bones and help repair broken bones.
The test on rats was successful: all received a single dose of the mixture of the two drugs. After that, bone formation accelerated in the area of the fracture. However, the researchers did not test the restoration of movement in the bone, or the repair of other related tissues, such as the nerves. According to the authors, these findings would be applicable for vertebral, hip and leg fractures, and it could also improve healing after surgery. The next step in the study will be testing humans, first with a healthy sample, and then with participants who have broken bones.