Mitochondria are extremely important for cells, as they produce the energy they need to carry out their tasks in a normal, healthy body. So when mitochondria can’t or won’t function as they are supposed to, serious conditions or diseases can develop.
This 2018 study from Canada shows that human mesenchymal stem cells can interact with diseased mitochondria and correct or influence their activity in the cells. To demonstrate this, the authors cultured human MSC with human mitochondria extracted from patients with mitochondrial malfunctions. The authors also injected MSC into mice with known mitochondrial defects and studied their mitochondrial response.
This is a really exciting breakthrough for mitochondrial diseases, as patients suffering from these conditions could potentially be treated with MSC in future studies.
Front Physiol. 2018 Nov 13;9:1572. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01572.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells Shift Mitochondrial Dynamics and Enhance Oxidative Phosphorylation in Recipient Cells.
Newell C, Sabouny R, Hittel DS, Shutt TE, Khan A, Klein MS, Shearer J.