Inflammation Can Kill Stem Cells and Interferes with Wound Repair!


Stem cells are special because they can develop into a variety of cell types, such as skin cells and connective tissues. When the body is wounded, it usually automatically recruits stem cells to help repair the injury. However, wounds also alert the body’s immune system to start an inflammatory response which is the initial phase of healing . A recent study by Amitava Das suggests that this inflammation could interfere with the stem cells’ power to repair injuries. Suppressing the excessive inflammatory environment, might help reduce inflammation and, in turn, enhance the stem cells’ healing ability. In the study, researchers use an anti-inflammatory drug, celecoxib, (Celebrex) a pain tablet like aspirin. The result indicates that, when celecoxib is added to a co-culture of stem cells, it restores the stem cells’ repairing functions! Simultaneously, scientists also found that celecoxib could specifically induce the stem cells to differentiate into skin cells that help heal the wounds. Although further studies are needed, this double-effect of celecoxib might be an effective treatment for chronic wounds. In the future we may find a therapeutic role for anti-inflammatory medication but for now chronic use by itself is discouraged as it may mask symptoms and cause stomach ulceration and kidney damage.


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