Limbs saved by menstrual blood stem cells

Aug. 18, 2008 at 7:05 PM

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A U.S.-led study shows endometrial regenerative cells from menstrual blood can restore blood flow in animal models of peripheral artery disease.

Researchers led by Dr. Michael Murphy, a vascular surgeon at Indiana University, demonstrated that when circulation-blocked mice were treated with injections of the cells, circulation and functionality were restored.

Endometrial regenerative cells are stem cells taken from menstrual blood that are capable of forming into at least nine different tissue types, including heart, liver and lung.

"The advantage of ERCs is that they can be used in an 'off the shelf' manner, meaning they can be delivered to the point of care, do not require matching and are easily injectable without the need for complex equipment," said Murphy.

The experiments were performed as a collaboration of the University of Western Ontario, the Scripps Research Institute, Indiana University and several other academic centers.

The findings are reported in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

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