Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into numerous different cell types and serve as the body’s primary internal repair system. The innate ability of stem cells to differentiate into other types of cells with specialized functions (blood, brain or tissue cells) replenishes and regenerates the body from the effects of aging and disease. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to significantly increase the concentration of circulating stem/progenitor cells within the peripheral circulation system. By increasing blood plasma oxygen levels, bone marrow derived stem cells were shown to significantly proliferate and mobilize. The proposed mechanism of action was through a nitric oxide dependent mechanism. This evidence plays a key role in regenerative medicine as the increased number of stem cells in the body have the ability provide enhanced and accelerated physiological repair. Studies have demonstrated HBOT’s therapeutic influence on stem cells with the following:


Stem Cells Mobilized with HBOT

A landmark study published in 2005 involved 26 patients who were at risk for osteoradionecrosis after undergoing radiation therapy for head or neck tumors. All patients underwent 20 HBOT treatments and blood was collected and evaluated after the first, tenth and twentieth treatment. The population of CD34 cells in the peripheral circulation system doubled after the first treatment and increased eight fold by the end of the trial. Colony forming cells also significantly increased, while vascular endothelial growth factor-2 and stromal- derived growth factor increased as well. The study concluded that HBOT mobilizes bone marrow derived stem/progenitor cells by stimulating nitric oxide synthesis.

Thom, Stephen R., Veena M. Bhopale, Omaida C. Velazquez,
Lee J. Goldstein, Lynne H. Thom, and Donald G. Buerk.

Stem cell mobilization by hyperbaric oxygen. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol Nov. 2005

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