Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 938–945 | Cite as

Repairing Neural Injuries Using Human Umbilical Cord Blood

  • Tao SunEmail author
  • Quan-hong MaEmail author


Stem cells are promising sources for repairing damaged neurons and glial cells in neural injuries and for replacing dead cells in neurodegenerative diseases. An essential step for stem cell-based therapy is to generate large quantities of stem cells and develop reliable culture conditions to direct efficient differentiation of specific neuronal and glial subtypes. The human umbilical cord and umbilical cord blood (UCB) are rich sources of multiple stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, unrestricted somatic stem cells, and embryonic-like stem cells. Human UC/UCB-derived cells are able to give rise to multiple cell types of neural lineages. Studies have shown that UCB and UCB-derived cells can survive in injured sites in animal models of ischemic brain damage and spinal cord injuries, and promote survival and prevent cell death of local neurons and glia. Human UCB is easy to harvest and purify. Moreover, unlike embryonic stem cells, the use of human UCB is not limited by ethical quandaries. Therefore, human UCB is an attractive source of stem cells for repairing neural injuries.


Human umbilical cord blood Mesenchymal stem cells Neural stem cells Embryonic stem cells Neural injuries Neural repair 



We thank Aisha Abdullah for the critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by the Ellison Medical Foundation (T.S.), an award from the Hirschl/Weill-Caulier Trust (T.S.), an R01-MH083680 grant from the NIH/NIMH (T.S.), National Program on Key Basic Research Project (2013CB945600) (Q.M.), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (31171313) (Q.M.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell and Developmental BiologyWeill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Institute of NeuroscienceSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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