Scientists from the University of Chile in Santiago has made an unexpected discovery. They found that a single dose of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) administered to laboratory rats addicted to alcohol, almost completely suppressed them alcoholism. Now researchers are seriously interested in the development of a drug that can have that effect on people dependent on alcoholic beverages. It may well be that in the future in any pharmacy you can buy drugthat frees people from addiction.
Recent studies have shown that chronic use of drugs, including alcohol, cocaine and opiates, is intimately associated with inflammation of the nervous tissue. In laboratory experiments with rodents developed a dependence on alcohol beverages were injected mesenchymal stem cells. As a result, 48 hours after the first injection the animals 90% reduction in voluntary alcohol consumption. In organisms of laboratory rats also significantly decreased alcohol-induced neuroinflammation. This effect lasted from 3 to 5 weeks, which is a very good result.
In the preparation of the experiment, scientists are faced with a serious problem. Given that MSC are quite large molecules, to increase their efficacy would have to do injections directly into the brain. Stem cells injected intravenously simply would not reach the destination via the bloodstream. The researchers had to make some tricks, thanks to which the size of the MSC were able to reduce by 75% and give the cells more spherical shape. This allowed the stem cells to reach the brain even when administered intravenously.
The work of Chilean scientists, no doubt, is a very important contribution to the fight against chronic dependence on drugs. Find the studies in the journal Scientific Reports.