PAUL R. SANBERG,a ALISON E.WILLING,a SVITLANA GARBUZOVA-DAVIS,a SAMUEL SAPORTA,b GUOQING LIU,a CYNDY DAVIS SANBERG,c PAULA C. BICKFORD,a STEPHEN K. KLASKO,a AND NAGWA S. EL-BADRIa aCenter of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA, bDepartment of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612. cSaneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc., Tampa Florida 33612, USA

Abstract: Human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) is now considered a valuable source for stem cell–based therapies. HUCB cells are enriched for stem cells that have the potential to initiate and maintain tissue repair. This potential is especially attractive in neural diseases for which no current cure is available. Furthermore, HUCB cells are easily available and less immunogenic compared to other sources for stem cell therapy such as bone marrow. Accordingly, the number of cord blood transplants has doubled in the last year alone, especially in the pediatric population. The therapeutic potential of HUCB cells may be attributed to inherent ability of stem cell populations to replace damaged tissues. Alternatively, various cell types within the graft may promote neural repair by delivering neural protection and secretion of neurotrophic factors. In this review, we evaluate the preclinical studies in which HUCB was applied for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and for traumatic and ischemic brain damage. We discuss how transplantation of HUCB cells affects these disorders and we present recent clinical studies with promising outcome.

KEYWORDS: stem cell; cord blood; neurogenesis; brain repair

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