Monocytes in Human Umbilical Cord Blood Improve Alzheimer’s Cognitive Deficits

Monocytes in Human Umbilical Cord Blood Improve Alzheimer’s Cognitive Deficits
In a new study entitled “Human umbilical cord blood-derived monocytes improve cognitive deficits and reduce ß-amyloid pathology in PSAPP mice” an international team of scientists showed that infusion of human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBCs) into a mice model of Alzheimer's disease improves animals' cognitive performance by clearing amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques. They discovered that immune cells called monocytes, which are present in HUCBCs infusion are the key players responsible for this improved phenotype. The study will be published in the journal Cell Transplantation. Currently affecting approximately 26 million people worldwide, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is still without an effective treatment, with current medicines just ameliorating disease symptoms but not preventing disease progression. Recent studies with AD animal models have shown that HUCBCs transplantation reduces the effects of amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques, the disease hallmark and key event responsible for neuronal death and dementia. Notably, however, the mechanism behind such phenotype is not known. In this study a team of American, Chinese, and Japanese scientists tackled this mechanism and hypothesized that immune cells present in umbilical cords’ blood could play a role in Aβ plaque clearance. They specifically focused on monocytes (key players of the immune system in fighting infections and clearing foreign material) that belong to a wide
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