Neural stem cells have been proposed as useful vectors for treating diseases in the CNS, but their utility is severely limited by lack of accessibility. Brain development is ongoing extensively in early postnatal life. However, it is unclear whether stem cells that differentiate into neurons exist in the blood during early postnatal life. We showed in this experiment that neural markers (NeuN, neurofilament, MAP2, GFAP) are expressed and long cytoplasmic processes are elaborated in the cultured human cord blood monocytes prepared from newborn umbilical blood. These results suggest that stem cells in human cord blood may be potential sources of neurons in early postnatal life. We suggest that the neonatal blood system functions as a circulating pool of different types of stem cell.
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