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  • Stem-cell approach shows promise for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Suzanne Berry-Miller, veterinary clinical medicine professor Robert O'Brien and their colleagues developed a method that enhanced cardiac function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Suzanne Berry-Miller, veterinary clinical medicine professor Robert O'Brien and their colleagues developed a method that enhanced cardiac function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Suzanne Berry-Miller, veterinary clinical medicine professor Robert O'Brien and their colleagues developed a method that enhanced cardiac function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Treatment with stem cells derived from blood vessels spurred nestin-positive stem cells already present in the heart to form new cardiac muscle cells (see arrows).

      Photo by Suzanne Berry-Miller

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      After injecting dystrophin-deficient mouse hearts with normal, blood-vessel-derived stem cells, researchers saw an increase in cell division among nestin-positive stem cells (shown in green) in the heart. These stem cells are found in the hearts of adult humans, rats, and mice, but their function is not yet known. An increase in formation of new heart muscle cells from the nestin-positive stem cells was also detected.

      Photo by Suzanne Berry-Miller

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