Posted on Oct 21, 2015, 6 a.m.
Cells from human umbilical cord blood improve cognition (lab animal model).
Previous cell transplantation research to explore therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease has indicated that human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBCs) can ameliorate some cognitive deficits and reduce the effects of the characteristic amyloid-beta plaques, in lab animal models of the disorder/ Donna Darlington, from the University of South Florida (Florida, USA), and colleagues investigated the exact role that HUCBCs play in amyloid-beta clearance. Over a period of two to four months, the researchers treated AD modeled mice with HUCBC-derived monocytes -- peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNCs) with round nuclei that are critical components in the immune system for fighting infection and processing foreign material, followed by behavioral evaluation and biochemical and histological analyses. The researchers found that administration of HUCBC-derived monocytes not only diminished amyloid-beta pathology in the test mice, but also improved hippocampal-dependent learning, memory, and motor function. The study authors report that: “our findings suggest an interesting hypothesis that peripheral monocytes contribute to [amyloid beta] clearance through heterodimerization of [soluble amyloid precursor protein alpha] with [amyloid-beta].”
Darlington D, Li S, Hou H, Habib A, Tian J, Gao Y, Ehrhart J, Sanberg PR, Sawmiller D, Giunta B, Mori T, Tan J. “Human umbilical cord blood-derived monocytes improve cognitive deficits and reduce β-amyloid pathology in PSAPP mice.” Cell Transplant. 2015 Jul 30.