The use of stem cells for reparative medicine was first proposed more than three decades ago. Hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow, peripheral blood and human umbilical cord blood (CB) have gained major use for treatment of hematological indications. CB, however, is also a source of cells capable of differentiating into various non-hematopoietic cell types, including neural cells. Several animal model reports have shown that CB cells may be used for treatment of neurological injuries. This review summarizes the information available on the origin of CB-derived neuronal cells and the mechanisms proposed to explain their action. The potential use of stem/progenitor cells for treatment of ischemic brain injuries is discussed. Issues that remain to be resolved at the present stage of preclinical trials are addressed.
- Human umbilical cord blood stem cells*Brain ischemia*Neuroprotection