Cloned Stem Cells Best for Parkinson's

Study finds mice's own stem cells most effective vs disease
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2008 9:00 AM CDT
Scientists announced a breakthrough in Parkinson's research involving treating mice with their own cloned embryonic stem cells, a method that could eventually be used on humans.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Scientists have found that embryonic stem cells effectively treat Parkinson's disease in lab mice, but only when the cells come from the sick mouse's own clones, Reuters reports. The study, published in Nature Medicine, created "therapeutic clones" by transferring cell nuclei into mouse egg cells and growing them into the type of brain cells Parkinson's destroys.

Using cloned stem cells from other mice produced "more inflammation than we anticipated," say the researchers. "It demonstrated what we suspected all along—that genetically matched tissue works better." The next step is to attempt the process using the less controversial method of creating "induced pluripotent" stem cells by reprogramming the genes of other cells to make them act like embryonic stem cells.