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Open Access Determination of the Therapeutic Time Window for Human Umbilical Cord Blood Mononuclear Cell Transplantation Following Experimental Stroke in Rats

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Experimental treatment strategies using human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (hUCB MNCs) represent a promising option for alternative stroke therapies. An important point for clinical translation of such treatment approaches is knowledge on the therapeutic time window. Although expected to be wider than for thrombolysis, the exact time window for hUCB MNC therapy is not known. Our study aimed to determine the time window of intravenous hUCB MNC administration after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Male spontaneously hypertensive rats underwent MCAO and were randomly assigned to hUCB MNC administration at 4, 24, 72, and 120 or 14 days. Influence of cell treatment was observed by magnetic resonance imaging on days 1, 8, and 29 following MCAO and by assessment of functional neurological recovery. On day 30, brains were screened for glial scar development and presence of hUCB MNCs. Further, influence of hUCB MNCs on necrosis and apoptosis in postischemic neural tissue was investigated in hippocampal slices cultures. Transplantation within a 72-h time window resulted in an early improvement of functional recovery, paralleled by a reduction of brain atrophy and diminished glial scarring. Cell transplantation 120 h post-MCAO only induced minor functional recovery without changes in the brain atrophy rate and glial reactivity. Later transplantation (14 days) did not show any benefit. No evidence for intracerebrally localized hUCB MNCs was found in any treatment group. In vitro hUCB MNCs were able to significantly reduce postischemic neural necrosis and apoptosis. Our results for the first time indicate a time window of therapeutic hUCB MNC application of at least 72 h. The time window is limited, but wider than compared to conventional pharmacological approaches. The data furthermore confirms that differentiation and integration of administered cells is not a prerequisite for poststroke functional improvement and lesion size reduction.

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Keywords: Behavioral phenotyping; Human umbilical cord blood (hUCB); Ischemic stroke; Magnetic resonance imaging; Time window

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Leipzig, Germany 2: Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Project Group Neuropharmacology, Magdeburg, Germany 3: Department for Neuroradiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany 4: Department of Neurology, Evangelisches Krankenhaus Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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  • 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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