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Neonatal asphyxia is an important contributor to cerebral palsy (CP), for which there is no effective treatment to date. The administration of human cord blood cells (hUCBCs) is emerging as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurological disorders. However, there are few studies
on the application of hUCBCs to the treatment of neonatal ischemia as a model of CP. Experiments and behavioral tests (mainly motor tests) performed on neonatal hypoxia/ischemia have been limited to short-term effects of hUCBCs, but mechanisms of action have not been investigated. We performed
a study on the use of hUCBCs in a rat model of neonatal hypoxia/ischemia and investigated the underlying mechanism for therapeutic benefits of hUCBC treatment. hUCBCs were intravenously transplanted into a rat model of neonatal hypoxia ischemia. hUCBCs increased microglia temporarily in the
periventricular striatum in the early phase of disease, protected mature neurons in the neocortex from injury, paved the way for the near-normalization of brain damage in the subventricular zone (SVZ), and, in consequence, significantly improved performance in a battery of behavioral tests
compared to the vehicle-treated group. Although the transplanted cells were rarely observed in the brain 3 weeks after transplantation, the effects of the improved behavioral functions persisted. Our preclinical findings suggest that the long-lasting positive influence of hUCBCs is derived
from paracrine effects of hUCBCs that stimulate recovery in the injured brain and protect against further brain damage.
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.