Scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the University of Michigan have discovered a new immune cell. The discovery may lead to a cure for a broad range of neurological diseases, including ALS, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, and stroke. The same team also identified a human immune cell line that helps repair nervous system damage.
The newly discovered cell, a type of white blood cell called granulocyte, is similar to nerve cells that help the body fight off infection. The scientists were able to use the cell to grow new nerve fibers and repair spinal cord injuries in mice. “Our findings could ultimately lead to the development of novel immunotherapies that reverse central nervous damage and restore lost neurological function across a spectrum of diseases,” said Dr. Andrew Sas, a scientist in the department of neurology at OSU. The findings were published in the journal Nature Immunology.