New Cell Transplantation Procedure For Future MS Treatment

A patent for a new cell transplantation procedure was granted to the University of South Florida’s Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair seen to be developed into treating certain neuro-degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis. The said procedure involved combining human umbilical cord blood cells or HUCB and “mannitol”, a sugar-alcohol compound.

The new procedure provides a neuroprotective effect brought by the effects of the umbilical cord blood cells along with mannitol that helps it get through the blood-brain barrier. While the HUCB cells may have beneficial effects for several neuro-degenerative diseases like MS, Alzheimer’s disease and even stroke, trying to get them through the blood-brain barrier has been such a challenge. The blood-brain barrier separates the circulating blood from the cerebral spinal fluid in the central nervous system.

Researchers found out that mannitol may help aid HUCB cells to permeate into the blood brain barrier and reach into the damaged areas of the central nervous system. Mannitol works by temporarily shrinking the cells that make up the barrier, making the HUCB cells via their secreted factors to reach the site of injury.

The HUCB cells are known to contain a high percentage of stem cells that can survive and develop into neurons in the damaged parts of the brain when intravenously administered. HUCB cells are also known to secrete beneficial molecules that has the potential to promote behavioral recovery according to Dr. Cesar Borlongan, co-inventor and a USF neuroscientist and professor. “Because the blood-brain barrier regulates the entry of many blood-borne substances into the brain, it may exclude potentially therapeutic substances”, he further added.


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