Researchers may have found a counter to astronaut bone loss

Researchers at the University of London collected stem cells from human amniotic fluid and used them to treat mice with brittle bone disease. The idea? Treating osteoporosis and strengthening the bone mass of astronauts, which can lose up to 2.5% of its density for each month spent in space.

Cells found in amniotic fluid — the protective fluid that surrounds babies in the womb — could help reverse bone aging and even treat bones weakened by osteoporosis, according to a team of British researchers from the University College London. Work carried out on mice bred to develop brittle bone disease suggests that the mesenchymal stem cells found in the liquid have regenerative properties that reduce the risk of fractures by nearly 80%.

Stem cells from human fetal tissue extracted from the umbilical cord are already known to reduce bone fracture rates in mice, but transplantation does not improve bone strength, only an increase in plasticity is observed. In contrast, mesenchymal cells from amniotic fluid taken from a sample of healthy pregnant women 12 weeks before birth not only reduced the number of fractures by 79%, but also made bones stronger. , their internal structure being reinforced.

Clinical trials in humans are already planned within two years. For the researcher: “sif these tests are conclusive, new treatments for brittle bone disease in children or osteoporosis may emerge. I think that in the next few years, we will have new ways to slow down the aging of our skeleton and thus reduce the risk of fractures and pain. The treatment could also help strengthen the bone mass of astronauts, which can lose up to 2.5% of its density each month spent in space « .

We are already used to putting cream on our face to slow down skin aging. Here, it’s a bit the same thing for the skeleton, finally.


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