The placenta of new mothers can help reduce brain damage in other babies with limited growth

The placenta from mothers of healthy newborns can one day be used to reduce brain injuries in infants with limited growth, according to a study by the University of Queensland.

Dr Julie Wicky of the UQ Center for Clinical Research said the study found that stem cells derived from a healthy placenta could reduce damaging inflammation in these babies after just three days.

There is currently no treatment to protect the brain of a baby with limited growth.

Up to 50% of them have long-term problems, ranging from mild learning and behavioral disorders to cerebral palsy.

We know that there is inflammation in the brain and it does not stop after the birth of these babies.

Our study showed that we can reduce inflammation and ongoing brain damage by treating these newborns on the day they are born using a combination of two types of stem cells – cells that form endothelial colonies and mesenchymal stromal cells – isolated from a healthy human placenta. .

Dr. Julie Wixie, Center for Clinical Trials at UQ

About 32 million infants with limited growth are born worldwide each year, with about 10 percent of newborns in Australia affected.

These babies fail to grow normally in the womb, often because they have not received enough nutrients and oxygen from the placenta.

“Our study found that after just three days, combination stem cell therapy not only reduced inflammation, but also, importantly, appears to repair damaged blood vessels in the brain in animal models,” said Dr. Wixey.

“We are really excited about the results of this study and hope that it will improve the lives of these babies in the long run.”

The patented technique for collecting stem cells from the placenta was co-invented by Professor Kiaras Hosrotechrani of UQ and Dr. Jatin Patel – now at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

“This was a fantastic collaborative study and demonstrated the exciting potential of stem cell therapy in the near future to treat sick babies,” said Dr. Patel.

“We are now working to expand our patented stem cell technology, which will lead to more cell propellants and the expansion of preclinical animal studies in order to advance to human testing.”

Researchers will now examine the long-term results of combination stem cell therapy.


University of Queensland

Reference in the magazine:

Chand, K.K., et al. (2021) A combination of human colony-forming endothelial cells and mesenchymal stromal cells have neuroprotective effects in neonates with limited growth. npj Regenerative medicine.

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