For the first time, scientists have identified stem cells capable of repairing skull and face bones in mice. This advancement may lead to new stem-cell therapies for craniofacial bone repair in future.
Professor Wei Hsu, University of Rochester Medical Centre, US, said that the goal is to understand and find stem-cell therapy for a skull deformity in infants, a condition known as craniosynostosis. Craniosynostosis often leads to developmental delays and elevated pressure in the brain.
‘Craniosynostosis, a skull deformity in infants causing developmental delays and elevated pressure in the brain may be cured with Axin2 stem cells.’
Axin2 gene and a mutation that causes craniosynostosis in mice were studied. Due to a unique expression pattern of the Axin2 gene in the skull, their role in bone formation, repair and regeneration were focused.
Stem cells central to skull formation are contained within Axin2 cell populations, comprising about 1% – and that the lab tests used to uncover the skeletal stem cells might also be useful to find bone diseases caused by stem cell abnormalities.