Nerve stem cells treat gut disorder in mice

Therapy repairs intestines by connecting to nervous system

By Tina Hesman Saey, 13:06 PM February 1, 2013

Transplants of nerve stem cells are usually reserved for repairing the brain or spinal cord, but a new study suggests such therapy may improve some intestinal disorders as well.

People with Hirschsprung disease have no nerves in parts of the large intestine, so muscles don’t contract to produce bowel movements. No effective therapies exist for the condition or for similar disorders known as enteric neuropathies.

To see if such nerve deficiencies can be repaired, Ryo Hotta of the Universi...

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