Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.447, No.3, 400-406, 2014
3D microenvironment of collagen hydrogel enhances the release of neurotrophic factors from human umbilical cord blood cells and stimulates the neurite outgrowth of human neural precursor cells
The umbilical cord blood (UCB) cells have been reported to secrete therapeutic signals, including a series of neurotrophic factors. This suggests the cell source provides suitable therapeutic environments for nerve regeneration that ultimately finds a possible cell therapy for nerve tissue. In this study, we observe a collagen hydrogel provides human UCB cells a proper 3D environment that stimulates the release of various neurotrophic factors. When compared to 2D culture, the 3D hydrogel culture significantly enhanced the expression of a series of neurotrophic factors, including neurotrophins, nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and ciliary neurotrophic factor as verified by the gene and protein analysis. To confirm the effects of neurotrophic factors secretion, we allowed an indirect interaction of the UCB-environment with human neural precursor cells (hNPCs). Results showed significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth of hNPCs. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that the collagen-based 3D hydrogel provides excellent environment for UCB-derived cells to release neurotrophic factors that will be ultimately useful for the neural repair and regeneration purposes. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.