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Can pluripotent amnion epithelial cells help the injured preterm brain?

37 months
Approved budget:
Professor Laura Bennet
Health issue:
Obstetric complications/perinatal care
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Premature birth now contributes approximately a third of cases of cerebral palsy - and the long-term disabilities that accompany it - and we have no effective therapy to prevent this devastating condition. There is increasing evidence from preclinical studies of term neonates that transplantation of stem cells can help improve recovery from acute or chronic brain injury, but little is known about their efficacy in the preterm brain. As part of an international collaboration, we will undertake the first studies using a pre-clinical model with high clinical translation potential, of preterm brain injury induced by low oxygen levels, to test the therapeutic usefulness of multipotent cells derived from the amniotic membranes that are normally discarded at birth. We will determine the fate of these cells, and their effects on the growth and function of the brain over four weeks recovery.