The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 52: 237 - 248 (2008)

Vol 52, Issue 2-3

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Poland

A novel, neural potential of non-hematopoietic human umbilical cord blood stem cells

Published: 30 November -0001

Krystyna Domanska-Janik*, Leonora Buzanska and Barbara Lukomska

NeuroRepair Department, M. Mossakowski Medical Research and Clinical Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland


From the time of discovery that among the cord blood mononuclear cell population there are cells capable of changing their fate towards the neural lineage and producing functional neurons and macroglial cells, our attempts have been focused on the understanding of the underlying mechanism of this transition. We have deciphered the first steps of neural stem/progenitor gene induction in aggregating culture of cord blood mononuclear cells, their rapid phenotypic conversion under the influence of neuromorphogenic signals due to mitogen activation and their ability to expand and develop a prototypic, long-living line with neural stem cell properties. Evidence has accumulated that human umbilical cord-derived and neurally committed cells, due to their capacity for self-renewal, multilineage differentiation, plasticity and ability for long-lasting growth in vitro, provide unique material for the cell therapy of a wide spectrum of neurological diseases. The putative regenerating potential of these cord blood-derived neural stem/progenitor cells was evaluated after transplantation in experimental models of brain injury. In spite of initial promising data, the results indicate an urgent need to improve available animal model protocols in order to increase immuno-tolerance toward transplanted human cells.


human cord blood, neural stem cell, neurosphere, transplantation, CNS

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