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Background: Hypoxemic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the neonatal population. Recent research has shown human adipose stem cells (hASCs) to have neuroprotective effects in animal models of HIE. This study tested the hypothesis that neurodevelopmental outcomes would be improved using hASC therapy in term neonatal HIE rat model.

Methods: Seven day old rats underwent left carotid artery ligation followed by 8% oxygen for 120 minutes, or carotid isolation in shams. Forty-eight hours after surgery half of the rats received hASCs and half normal saline (NS) intravenously. Rota-rod and cylinder tests were used to assess skill learning, balance, coordination, and symmetry of limb use at 2, 4 and 6 weeks of life.

Results: HIE rats treated with hASCs traveled further on Rota-rod (p=0.03) when compared to HIE with NS groups. Those in the HIE-hASC group had significant improvement in the usage of the affected limb at week 6 (p=0.03) compared to those with HIE and NS. Rats receiving hASCs post HIE had less cortical atrophy compared to those with HIE and NS.

Conclusions: Rats with HIE treated with hASCs showed improvement in long-term neurodevelopmental aspects and decreased cortical atrophy compared to HIE control group.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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