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Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells Express Neural Antigens After Transplantation Into the Developing Rat Brain

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Recently, our laboratory began to characterize the mononuclear cells from human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) both in vitro and in vivo. These cryopreserved human cells are available in unlimited quantities and it is believed that they may represent a source of cells with possible therapeutic and practical value. Our previous molecular and immunocytochemical studies on cultured HUCB cells revealed their ability to respond to nerve growth factor (NGF) by increased expression of neural markers typical for nervous system-derived stem cells. In addition, the DNA microarray detected downregulation of several genes associated with development of blood cell lines. To further explore the survival and phenotypic properties of HUCB cells we transplanted them into the developing rat brain, which is known to provide a conducive environment for development of neural phenotypes. Prior to transplantation, HUCB cells were either cultured with DMEM and fetal bovine serum or were exposed to retinoic acid (RA) and nerve growth factor (NGF). Neonatal pups (1 day old) received unilateral injection of cell suspension into the anterior part of subventricular zone. One month after transplantation animals were perfused, their brains cryosectioned, and immunocytochemistry was performed for identification of neural phenotypes. Our results clearly demonstrated that approximately 20% of transplanted HUCB survived (without immunosuppression) within the neonatal brain. Additionally, double-labeling with cell-type-specific markers revealed that some HUCB-derived cells (recognized by anti-human nuclei labeling) were immunopositive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and few donor cells expressed the neuronal marker TuJ1 (class III β-tubulin). These findings suggest that at least some of the transplanted HUCB cells differentiated into cells with distinct glial or neuronal phenotypes after being exposed to instructive signals from the developing brain.
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Keywords: Key words: Human umbilical cord blood; Transplanta

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: §Department of Anatomy, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 2: ¶James Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, FL 3: ‡Department of Neurology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 4: †Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL

Publication date: 01 March 2002

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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