More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cell Transplants Improve Stroke Recovery in Rats

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Nov 01 - When injected into the tails of rats with experimentally induced stroke, human umbilical cord blood cells survive, migrate to the damaged area of the brain, differentiate and improve functional and neurological recovery after stroke.

The mechanisms by which the transplanted cord blood cells induce recovery "derive from the ability of these cells to produce an array of trophic factors that stimulate endogenous compensatory response and brain plasticity," Dr. Michael Chopp told Reuters Health. "This is not a stem cell therapy, in which new tissue is created by the administration of cells," he emphasized.

Dr. Michael Chopp, of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and a multicenter US team report their findings in the November issue of Stroke.

The researchers induced stroke in adult Wistar rats by constricting branches of the middle cerebral artery. One day or 7 days later they infused some of the animals with human umbilical cord blood cells in the tail vein while controls received either no donor cell administration or sham solution infusion.

Treatment with cord blood cells 1 day after stroke led to significant functional and neurological recovery, as evidenced by better rotarod motor test results and better Modified Neurological Severity Scores (mNSS) at 7 and 14 days, compared with control rats. Rats treated with cord blood cells 7 days after stroke showed significantly better results only on the mNSS test.

Since human umbilical cord blood cells are widely available, "they potentially may be an excellent source of cells for treatment of early stroke," Dr. Chopp and his colleagues say in the journal. "Furthermore, treatment with human umbilical cord blood cells has a therapeutic window of days compared with the present 3-hour window for the treatment of stroke with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator."

Stroke 2001;32(11):2682-2688 []

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd