Neuroprotection by cord blood neural progenitors involves antioxidants, neurotrophic and angiogenic factors

Hadar Arien-Zakay, Shimon Lecht, Marian M. Bercu, Rinat Tabakman, Ron Kohen, Hanan Galski, Arnon Nagler, Philip Lazarovici*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) is a valuable source for cell therapy since it confers neuroprotection in stroke animal models. However, the responsible sub-populations remain to be established and the mechanisms involved are unknown. To explore HUCB neuroprotective properties in a PC12 cell-based ischemic neuronal model, we used an HUCB mononuclear-enriched population of collagen-adherent cells, which can be differentiated in vitro into a neuronal phenotype (HUCBNP). Upon co-culture with insulted-PC12 cells, HUCBNP conferred ∼ 30% neuroprotection, as evaluated by decreased lactate dehydrogenase and caspase-3 activities. HUCBNP decreased by 95% the level of free radicals in the insulted-PC12 cells, in correlation with the appearance of antioxidants, as measured by changes in the oxidation-reduction potential of the medium using cyclic-voltammetry. An increased level of nerve growth factor (NGF), vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor in the co-culture medium was temporally correlated with a -medium neuroprotection effect, which was partially abolished by heat denaturation. HUCBNP-induced neuroprotection was correlated with changes in gene expression of these neurotrophic factors, while blocked by K252a, an antagonist of the TrkA/NGF receptor. These findings indicate that HUCBNP-induced neuroprotection involves antioxidant(s) and neurotrophic factors, which, by paracrine and/or autocrine interactions between the insulted-PC12 and the HUCBNP cells, conferred neuroprotection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Cord blood progenitors
  • FGF-2
  • Free radicals
  • NGF
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oxygen-glucose deprivation
  • PC12 cells
  • VEGF


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