Escudo de la República de Colombia


Nose cells could repair backbone lesions

Transplanting rat olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) to the bone marrow is now an alternative to restore mobility to people with brainstem lesions; 30 rats recovered their mobility after this unique experiment.

Bogotá D. C., 07 de diciembre de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

Any progress in this field is hope for close to 894,000 Colombian nationals which have brainstem lesions and cannot move their lower limbs.

Olfactory ensheathing glia are present from the simplest invertebrates to human beings.

Olfactory ensheathing glia are an alternative to restore mobility to people with bone marrow lesions.

These types of cells have the capability to replace lost neurons.

Olfactory ensheathing glia cells are present from the simplest invertebrates to human beings. Glia is Greek for "glue", referring to the property of maintaining neurons together. 

“The olfactory system and OECs (as an exceptional case in the nervous system), can replace lost nervous cells as they wrap neuronal axons and produce the conditions that make olfactory neurons multiply. This has made these cells to be transplant candidates for the central nervous system,” said Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics Professor and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. candidate Lucía Botero Espinosa. 

Rosa Gómez and Kemel Ghotme, researchers from the Universidad de La Sabana and UNal colleague Orlando Chaparro also contributed to the project thanks to funding from the Colombian Administrative Department of Science Technology and Innovation. Botero demonstrated that rats with complete brainstem lesion recovered the mobility of their lower limbs after an OEC transplant, carried out in an autologous manner (cells obtained from the same individual.) 

She says that these types of cells have been used in Colombia during an acute lesion stage, i.e. minutes after an accident, although they had not been tested in chronic stages, in other words, months after a traumatic event. 

For the aforementioned reason, the purpose of the project was to demonstrate that these cells obtained from the nose can repair lesions not only at the primary level but also in later stages. Any progress in this field is hope for close to 894,000 Colombian nationals which have brainstem lesions and cannot move their lower limbs. 

“There are palliative procedures to treat medullar lesions which help mitigate pain, but none of them contribute to recover the functionality of affected patients,” said Botero.  

Reestablished connection 

During the first stage of the project, the researchers grew and maintained a 10-day culture of pathogen–free rat OECs. They used 28 rats, 18 of which were transplanted and 10 used as control. 

After the procedure, the researchers analyzed the evolution of the rats after 75 days and control every other day. They carried out three tests: First the rats were placed in a corridor to observe mobility, second on top a sloped grid and third they were lifted to see if they could sustain themselves on the hind legs. 

"Before the transplant, the rats practically crawled, and the mobility of their hind legs was null. After the operation a good portion of the rats recovered their mobility,” said Botero. 

She stated that where there is a brainstem lesion axon connections are completely lost, a situation known as glial scar formation and the cavity is entirely hollow with no neuronal link, therefore no mobility. 

“The transplanted OECs regenerated medullary axons and reestablished the connection,” she added. 

The following stage consisted of assessing axon regeneration and remyelination of rat bone marrow. Myelin is the substance which makes neuronal impulses travel faster across axons. 

With a technique known as confocal laser scanning microscopy which helps visualize green colored axons and red glial scarring, they proved that after three months of the transplant axons had regenerated and the glial scarring had been reduced. They also observed that axons effectively remyelinated. 

Thanks to the results of the research project Botero was granted first prize in the “Oral presentation” category during the Veterinary Congress held in León (México). 

In fact, Botero announced that the following step to test OECs transplants in other species, especially in dogs. "Many dog owners aware of this new alternative ask us to use the option on their pets so they can restore their mobility. If we demonstrate the success of the technique in dogs, Colombian science is closer to offering the alternative to people with these types of lesions,” she added.

(Por: end/
N.° 25

Otras noticias

El Alto Comisionado destacó el trabajo de la U.N. en temas de inteligencia artificial y <em>blockchain</em>. Foto: archivo Unimedios.


septiembre 18 de 2018

La U.N. y el Gobierno nacional aliados por la transformación digital

El Alto Consejero para la Innovación y la Transformación Digital del Estado,...

Ciencia & Tecnología

septiembre 18 de 2018

Industria 4.0 de la U.N. en Feria Internacional de Bogotá

Los procesos tecnológicos encaminados a lograr la automatización de empresas...

La profesora Dolly Montoya, rectora de la U.N., firmó el libro de visitas del Museo Paleontológico de Villa de Leyva.

Artes & Culturas

septiembre 18 de 2018

Fortalecer los museos, otro reto de la U.N.

En busca de la construcción de la Red de Museos de la Universidad Nacional de...

La silla puede soportar hasta 80 kg en el asiento principal. Fotos: Fabián Ordóñez

Ciencia & Tecnología

septiembre 18 de 2018

Silla para niños optimiza espacio en viviendas de interés social

El mueble fue diseñado para cumplir, en áreas reducidas, las funciones de...

Se analizaron muestras de sangre y se realizó la extracción del ADN para el estudio genético de 340 individuos de diferentes departamentos. Foto: archivo Unimedios

Ciencia & Tecnología

septiembre 18 de 2018

Colombia registra tres subpoblaciones ancestrales

Afroamericana, representada por una muestra de individuos de San Andrés y de...

Combo UN, grupo conformado por profesores, estudiantes y administrativos del Conservatorio de Música de la U.N.

Artes & Culturas

septiembre 18 de 2018

FOTOGALERÍA: La música se tomó el campus

Más de 130 músicos se presentaron en diferentes puntos del campus de la...

En esta competencia participan estudiantes de grados 10 y 11.


septiembre 18 de 2018

Primera Olimpiada de Matemáticas en Caldas

Este concurso, organizado por la Universidad Nacional de Colombia (U.N.) Sede...

Las guías nutricionales buscan aportar en el control del consumo excesivo de alimentos ultraprocesados y ricos en sodio. Fotos: Nicolás Bojacá - Unimedios.


septiembre 18 de 2018

Alimentos tradicionales deben retomarse en políticas de nutrición

Alto consumo de alimentos ricos en sodio, que luego se verá reflejado en...

Ludon le presenta al alumno una aventura alrededor de Colombia que genera en él interés y apropiación por su territorio.

Ciencia & Tecnología

septiembre 18 de 2018

“Ludon”, plataforma web que promueve la lectura en niños

Videos, historietas, lecturas breves acompañadas de imágenes, retos y...

<em>Uncaria tomentosa</em> o uña de gato. Foto: Lina Garzón.


septiembre 18 de 2018

Uña de gato, con más de 10 usos medicinales en el Amazonas

Cáncer, reumatismo, artritis, disentería, infecciones urinarias, alteraciones...