Irreversible and permanent damage develop immediately adjacent to the region of reduced cerebral blood perfusion in stroke patients. Currently, the proven thrombolytic treatment for stroke, tissue plasminogen activator, is only effective when administered within 3 h after stroke. These disease characteristics should be taken under consideration in developing any therapeutic intervention designed to widen the narrow therapeutic range, especially cell-based therapy. Over the past several years, our group and others have characterized the therapeutic potential of human umbilical cord blood cells for stroke and other neurological disorders using in vitro and vivo models focusing on the cells' ability to differentiate into nonhematopoietic cells including neural lineage, as well as their ability to produce several neurotrophic factors and modulate immune and inflammatory reaction. Rather than the conventional cell replacement mechanism, we advance alternative pathways of graft-mediated brain repair involving neurotrophic effects resulting from release of various growth factors that afford cell survival, angiogenesis, and anti-inflammation. Eventually, these multiple protective and restorative effects from umbilical cord blood cell grafts may be interdependent and act in harmony in promoting therapeutic benefits for stroke.
- Human umbilical cord blood cells
- Middle cerebral artery occlusion
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