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Multi-potent adult progenitor cells to treat stroke


Successful therapy for stroke will be achieved using cells that can limit ischemic injury and differentiate into the multiple cell types needed for restoring blood flow and neural circuits, and would be available for therapy 'off the shelf'. As Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells (MAPCs) differentiate into vascular and neural cells, and reconstitute damaged tissues in vivo, we hypothesize that MAPCs is an ideal allogeneic cell product to treat stroke.
In WP1, WP2 and WP3, we will develop approaches to generate committed vascular cells and neuroprogenitors, and identify key molecular events that guide differentiation. WPs 4-7 will rigorously evaluate the pre-clinical efficacy of allogeneic MAPCs or their progeny in stroke. This will include development of noninvasive imaging techniques to follow the fate of grafted cells and evaluate their impact on CNS function (WP4).
We will compare the efficacy of MAPCs with that of till now 'gold-standard' stem cell populations in stroke, and determine mechanisms underlying observed effects (WP5).
We will examine the immunogenicity of MAPCs and their differentiated progeny in vitro (WP6) and in vivo using mice with a 'human immune system' (WP7).
Studies in WP9 will develop clinical grade culture systems to generate human MAPCs and, if needed, lineage committed progeny. Studies in WP8 will develop a framework in which to develop clinical grade stem cell products in an ethically responsible manner. Specific attention to the management of the project.
The management, exploitation and dissemination of the project will be ensured through WP10. These studies will lay the foundation for clinical trials of MAPCs in stroke in Europe in subsequent years. The highly innovative methods, tools and technologies that will be developed will not only be applicable in the area of stem cell based therapies for stroke, but may significantly advance use of human stem cells in regenerative medicine.'

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