New data regarding the mechanisms of action of its lead CTX stem cell line in pre-clinical models of brain damage. The results of these studies showed that the CTX cells express several trophic and pro-angiogenic factors in culture and also induce endothelial cell markers associated with blood vessel formation in the host at both 72 hours and 7 days post-implantation of the cells into the brain. In one series of studies, the angiogenic potential of the CTX stem cell line was tested, both in vitro and in rodent models of stroke damage.
In a series of further studies, the CTX cells were seen to inhibit T cell activation. This immunosuppressive activity was in part attributed to the up-regulation of the ligand CD274, a regulator of T cell function. T cells are a type of white blood cell associated with the mediation of immune responses in the body. These results suggest that the CTX cells may act to suppress the inflammatory response associated with brain damage, thereby aiding the natural healing processes in the brain. This anti-inflammatory characteristic opens up a number of exciting new potential applications for the CTX cell line as a cell-based therapy for certain inflammatory diseases both within and beyond the brain.
Angiogenesis is a multiple-step process whereby new blood vessels develop from pre-existing vasculature, potentially contributing to the functional recovery of the brain from damage such as that caused by ischemic stroke. Taken together, these results suggest that the CTX cells may play a role in promoting the functional recovery of stroke patients through up-regulation of angiogenesis in the region of ischemic brain damage.
The results of these studies are being presented in 2 posters at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Scientific Conference, taking place on 12 – 14 July, 2010 at the University of Nottingham, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham, UK.