Human Amnion Epithelial Cells Reduce Fetal Brain Injury in Response to Intrauterine Inflammation.
ABSTRACT Intrauterine infection, such as occurs in chorioamnionitis, is a principal cause of preterm birth and is a strong risk factor for neurological morbidity and cerebral palsy. This study aims to examine whether human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) can be used as a potential therapeutic agent to reduce brain injury induced by intra-amniotic administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in preterm fetal sheep. Pregnant ewes underwent surgery at approximately 110 days of gestation (term is approx. 147 days) for implantation of catheters into the amniotic cavity, fetal trachea, carotid artery and jugular vein. LPS was administered at 117 days; hAECs were labeled with carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester and administered at 0, 6 and 12 h, relative to LPS administration, into the fetal jugular vein, trachea or both. Control fetuses received an equivalent volume of saline. Brains were collected 7 days later for histological assessment of brain injury. Microglia (Iba-1-positive cells) were present in the brain of all fetuses and were significantly increased in the cortex, subcortical and periventricular white matter in fetuses that received LPS, indicative of inflammation. Inflammation was reduced in fetuses that received hAECs. In LPS fetuses, the number of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly elevated in the cortex, periventricular white matter, subcortical white matter and hippocampus compared with controls, and reduced in fetuses that received hAECs in the cortex and periventricular white matter. Within the fetal brains studied there was a significant positive correlation between the number of Iba-1-immunoreactive cells and the number of TUNEL-positive cells (R(2) = 0.19, p < 0.001). The administration of hAECs protects the developing brain when administered concurrently with the initiation of intrauterine inflammation.
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ABSTRACT: In the research, clinical, and wider community there is great interest in the use of stem cells to reduce the progression, or indeed repair brain injury. Perinatal brain injury may result from acute or chronic insults sustained during fetal development, during the process of birth, or in the newborn period. The most readily identifiable outcome of perinatal brain injury is cerebral palsy, however, this is just one consequence in a spectrum of mild to severe neurological deficits. As we review, there are now clinical trials taking place worldwide targeting cerebral palsy with stem cell therapies. It will likely be many years before strong evidence-based results emerge from these trials. With such trials underway, it is both appropriate and timely to address the physiological basis for the efficacy of stem-like cells in preventing damage to, or regenerating, the newborn brain. Appropriate experimental animal models are best placed to deliver this information. Cell availability, the potential for immunological rejection, ethical, and logistical considerations, together with the propensity for native cells to form teratomas, make it unlikely that embryonic or fetal stem cells will be practical. Fortunately, these issues do not pertain to the use of human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs), or umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cells that are readily and economically obtained from the placenta and umbilical cord discarded at birth. These cells have the potential for transplantation to the newborn where brain injury is diagnosed or even suspected. We will explore the novel characteristics of hAECs and undifferentiated UCB cells, as well as UCB-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and how immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory properties are principal mechanisms of action that are common to these cells, and which in turn may ameliorate the cerebral hypoxia and inflammation that are final pathways in the pathogenesis of perinatal brain injury.Frontiers in Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:194.
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ABSTRACT: The transition to newborn life in preterm infants is complicated by immature cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Consequently, preterm infants often require respiratory support immediately after birth. Although aeration of the lung underpins the circulatory transition at birth, positive pressure ventilation can adversely affect cardio-respiratory function during this vulnerable period, reducing pulmonary blood flow and left ventricular output. Further, pulmonary volutrauma is known to initiate pulmonary inflammatory responses, resulting in remote systemic involvement.Pediatric Research (2014); doi:10.1038/pr.2014.40.Pediatric Research 03/2014; · 2.67 Impact Factor