University of Vermont COBRE (P20 RR016435)
"Center for Neuroscience Excellence"

Pilot Project 4: "Adult Bone Marrow Stem Cells for Neurological Repair"
Investigator: Jeffrey Spees, Ph.D.

Adult stem cells from bone marrow have the potential to provide dramatic new therapies for neurological disorders. In addition to direct cell replacement by stem cells, current data provide evidence that neurotrophins and growth factors secreted by adult stem cells into the damaged CNS environment may provide a powerful stimulus for nervous system repair. Our work demonstrates that the primary effect of transplanted bone marrow stem cells is to stimulate the proliferation of endogenous CNS progenitors in the brain. We have proposed a series of experiments to test the central hypothesis that sub-populations of adult stem cells from human bone marrow can effectively engraft and repair the injured brain by influencing the proliferation and differentiation of endogenous CNS progenitors.

Specific Aims:
  1. To establish the molecular profiles of purified adult stem cell sub-populations from human bone marrow and compare them to CNS progenitor cells.
  2. To determine the proliferation and differentiation patterns of endogenous CNS progenitors following the transplantation of different human stem cell sub-populations.
  3. To evaluate the response of CNS progenitor cells following stem cell transplantation in an animal injured by stroke.