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Cell Transplant. 2002;11(3):261-4.

Human umbilical cord blood cells can be induced to express markers for neurons and glia.

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Department of Neurology, Saint Louis University, and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, MO 63110, USA.


Rare cells are present in human umbilical cord blood that do not express the hematopoietic marker CD45 and in culture do not produce cells of hematopoietic lineage. These umbilical cord multipotent stem cells (UC-MC) behave as multilineage progenitor cells (stem cells) and can be expanded in tissue culture. Exposure to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) for a minimum of 7 days in culture induces expression of neural and glial markers. Western immunoblots demonstrate expression of both beta-tubulin III and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Immunocytochemistry of the cells showed intense labeling to both compounds on the intracellular cytoskeleton. The oligodendrocyte cell surface marker galactocerebroside (Gal-C) was present on most cells. Many cells show dual labeling, expressing both neuronal and glial markers.

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