ScienceDaily (June 1, 2010) — The sugar-alcohol compound mannitol improved the therapeutic effectiveness of human umbilical cord blood cells injected into neonatal rat models of cerebral palsy, reports a new international study led by the University of South Florida. The mannitol opened the blood-brain barrier by temporarily shrinking the tight endothelial cells that make up the barrier.
Intravenously-delivered human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) may offer therapeutic benefits to those suffering from cerebral palsy if the blood cells can get past the blood-brain barrier to the site of injury, the research team suggests. Their findings were recently published online in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (14:4).
The mannitol treatment did not increase the survival of human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) grafts, but by elevating the trophic factors HUBC combined with mannitol "could mediate robust functional improvement," according to Dr. Borlongan and his co-authors.
"Intravenous delivery of human umbilical cord blood alone promoted behavioral recovery in neonatal animal models of cerebral palsy, but their functional improvement was more pronounced when human umbilical cord blood transplantation was combined with mannitol," commented Dr. Borlongan.
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