Human umbilical cord blood progenitors: The potential of these hematopoietic cells to become neural

Ning Chen, Jennifer E. Hudson, Piotr Walczak, Iwona Misiuta, Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, Lixian Jiang, Juan Sanchez-Ramos, Paul R. Sanberg, Tanja Zigova, Alison E. Willing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mononuclear fraction from human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) contains a significant number of stem/progenitor cells that in theory could become any cell in the body, including neurons. Taking into consideration that transdifferentiation would be a very rare event and also knowing that overlapping genetic programs for hematopoiesis and neuropoiesis exist, we undertook a characterization of the HUCB mononuclear fraction, including analysis of cellular subpopulations and their morphology, cell viability, proliferation, and expression of neural and hematopoietic antigens. Two cell populations were apparent-adherent and floating fractions. The adherent fraction was mainly lymphocytes (∼53%) expressing hematopoietic antigens. Upon replate, the floating population had many cells that expressed stem cell antigens. More of the cells in this subfraction expressed neural proteins. Neurotrophin receptors trkB and trkC were present in both cell fractions, although expression was higher in the floating fraction. Our initial characterization suggests that a subpopulation of cells exists within the HUCB mononuclear fraction that seems to have the potential to become neural cells, which could then be used in the development of cell-based therapies for brain injuries and diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1560-1570
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cells
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Human
  • Multipotential differentiation hematopoietic and neural antigens
  • Neuropoiesis
  • Stem/progenitor cell
  • Umbilical cord blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Human umbilical cord blood progenitors: The potential of these hematopoietic cells to become neural'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this