Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common chronic complication of diabetes and presently has no long term treatment. The long-term goal of this project is to develop therapeutic stem cell based treatments for people experiencing DPN and other debilitating neuropathies. The overall objective of this application is to characterize our novel stem cell population and evaluate the safety of transplantation and efficacy of treatment in an animal model of diabetes with associated DPN. The central hypothesis is that transplantation of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) producing periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSC) into an animal model of diabetes will minimize the painful effects of DPN. The rationale for the proposed research is that a long term treatment for DPN and other neuropathic diseases may be achieved through the implantation of neurotrophic-releasing stem cells, creating a micro-environment that will arrest or reduce the effects of this debilitating condition.
The specific aims of this project are:
Aim 1 : Characterize neurotrophic secretion levels of novel PDLSC to determine dosing requirements for animal studies.
Aim 2 : Evaluate the effects of transplanting neurogenic and non-neurogenic committed PDLSC into an animal model of diabetes with associated DPN. The primary approach is to develop neuro-induction protocols and characterize our novel stem cell population, and then transplant these cells into an animal model of diabetes with associated DPN and evaluate the effects of transplantation on pain evoked behaviors. The contribution of this project will be significant because it is the initial stp in a continuum of research towards a long-term stem-cell based treatment designed specifically to address DPN.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is relevant to public health because diabetes has a current prevalence of 25.8 million children and adults in the US and 1.9 million new cases each year. Sixty to seventy percent of these people have diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), one of the main debilitating and painful complications of diabetes. The results of this research will provide an initial viable treatment that clinicians and researchers may use as a stepping stone to further in vivo studies (and future clinical trials), which will potentially result in a final treatment for DPN. This, in turn, will improve the quality of life an alleviate suffering from the incapacitating effects of DPN.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-R (O1))
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Mcbryde, Kevin D
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University of Miami Coral Gables
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
Coral Gables
United States
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Ng, Tsz Kin; Fortino, Veronica R; Pelaez, Daniel et al. (2014) Progress of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for neural and retinal diseases. World J Stem Cells 6:111-9
Fortino, Veronica R; Chen, Ren-Shiang; Pelaez, Daniel et al. (2014) Neurogenesis of neural crest-derived periodontal ligament stem cells by EGF and bFGF. J Cell Physiol 229:479-88
Fortino, Veronica R; Pelaez, Daniel; Cheung, Herman S (2013) Concise review: stem cell therapies for neuropathic pain. Stem Cells Transl Med 2:394-9