Monocytes are essential for the neuroprotective effect of human cord blood cells following middle cerebral artery occlusion in rat

T. A. Womble, S. Green, M. Shahaduzzaman, J. Grieco, P. R. Sanberg, K. R. Pennypacker, A. E. Willing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Systemic administration of human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) mononuclear cells (MNC) following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in the rat reduces infarct size and, more importantly, restores motor function. The HUCB cell preparation is composed of immature T-cells, B-cells, monocytes and stem cells. In this study we examined whether the beneficial effects of HUCB injection were attributable to one of these cell types. Male Sprague Dawley rats underwent permanent MCAO followed 48h later by intravenous administration of HUCB MNC preparations depleted of either CD14+ monocytes, CD133+ stem cells, CD2+ T-cells or CD19+ B cells. Motor function was measured prior to MCAO and 30days post-stroke. When CD14+ monocytes were depleted from the HUCB MNC, activity and motor asymmetry were similar to the MCAO only treated animals. Monocyte depletion prevented HUCB cell treatment from reducing infarct size while monocyte enrichment was sufficient to reduce infarct size. Administration of monocyte-depleted HUCB cells did not suppress Iba1 labeling of microglia in the infarcted area relative to treatment with the whole HUCB preparation. These data demonstrate that the HUCB monocytes provide the majority of the efficacy in reducing infarct volume and promoting functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by NINDS RO1NS52839 (AEW). AEW is a consultant and PRS a co-founder of Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc. AEW and PRS are inventors on cord blood patents licensed to Saneron, and a monocyte patent with CryoPraxis, Inc. PRS is also a consultant to CryoPraxis.


  • Behavior
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Cord blood
  • Infarct
  • Microglia
  • Monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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