Some Steroid Meds May Help Tissue Repair

DURHAM, N.C., May 4 (UPI) — Duke University medical researchers say they’ve found some commonly used steroid medications might aid in tissue-repairing regenerative therapy.

The steroid hormone called glucocorticoids is usually used for asthma inflammation and skin injury. But the scientists said they determined during studies on cells from mice, the drugs appeared to promote and protect stem cell populations that perform tissue repair.

“We found that these common compounds could help to produce populations of (nerve-repairing) neuronal stem cells and may even have a protective effect on the new stem cells, which could assist in tissue repair processes,” said Assistant Professor Wei Chen, the study’s senior author. “Next we would like to study how these drugs work in specific conditions, starting with spinal cord injury repair and neural regeneration in the setting of Parkinson’s disease.”

The study that included Associate Professor Larry Barak and researchers Jiangbo Wang, Jiuyi Lu, Michael Bond, Minyong Chen and Xiurong Ren appears in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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