Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair

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Neural Transplantation Laboratory

Directed by Cesar V. Borlongan, Ph.D., the Neural Transplantation Laboratory is a highly translational preclinical research laboratory focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological disorders, with an eye towards discovering novel, safe, and effective interventions that facilitate nervous system protection and repair. The laboratory utilizes transplantation of various stem cell types, trophic factors, neuroprotective, and neurorestorative compounds in clinically relevant animal models of human neurological disorders, and employs multi-disciplinary approaches to evaluate the efficacy and mechanisms of action of these stem cell-based therapies, as pivotal parameters for their clinical application.

The laboratory is home to a number of productive Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Defense (DoD), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)- funded projects, and by embodying the translational bench to clinic approach, it has produced 5 FDA-approved clinical trials of cell transplantation, including the world’s first cell therapy in stroke patients.

Federally Funded Current Projects

  • Blood Brain Barrier Repair for Cell Therapy in Stroke
    This study will evaluate the role of BBB as a target for endothelial progenitor cell grafts in stroke.
    National Institutes of Health
  • Battlefield–Related Injury Translational Research, Post-Traumatic Disease and Disability- Veterans Reintegration Strategy
    To test the hypothesis that G-CSF reduces neurobehavioral deficits in an animal model of TBI.
    Department of Defense
  • Reinforcing the Repair Response to Traumatic Brain Injury
    To test the hypothesis that G-CSF reduces neurobehavioral deficits in an animal model of TBI.
    Veterans Affairs

Current Publications

  • Tajiri N, Acosta SA, Shahaduzzaman M, Ishikawa H, Shinozuka K, Pabon M, Hernandez-Ontiveros D, Kim DW, Metcalf C, Staples M, Dailey T,Vasconcellos J, Franyuti G, Gould L, Patel N, Cooper D, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV, Bickford PC (2014). Intravenous transplants of human adipose-derived stem cell protect the brain from traumatic brain injury-induced neurodegeneration and motor and cognitive impairments: cell graft biodistribution and soluble factors in young and aged rats. J Neurosci 34(1):313-326.
  • Acosta SA, Diamond DM, Wolfe S, Tajiri N, Shinozuka K, Ishikawa H, Hernandez DG, Sanberg PR, Kaneko Y, Borlongan CV (2013). Influence of post-traumatic stress disorder on neuroinflammation and cell proliferation in a rat model of traumatic brain injury. PLoS One 8(12):e81585.
  • Kaneko Y, Tajiri N, Shojo H, Borlongan CV. Oxygen-glucose-deprived rat primary neural cells exhibit dj-1 translocation into healthy mitochondria: a potent stroke therapeutic target. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2013 Dec 30. doi:10.1111/cns.12208. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24382215.
  • Tajiri N, Kellogg SL, Shimizu T, Arendash GW, Borlongan CV (2013). Traumatic brain injury precipitates cognitive impairment and extracellular aβ aggregation in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice. PLoS One 8(11):e78851.
  • Ishikawa H, Tajiri N, Shinozuka K, Vasconcellos J, Kaneko Y, Lee HJ, Mimura O, Dezawa M, Kim SU, Borlongan CV (2013). Vasculogenesis in experimental stroke after human cerebral endothelial cell transplantation. Stroke 44(12):3473-81.
  • Kaneko Y, Shojo H, Burns J, Staples M, Tajiri N, Borlongan CV (2014). DJ-1 ameliorates ischemic cell death in vitro possibly via mitochondrial pathway. Neurobiol Dis 62:56-61.
  • Tajiri N, Kaneko Y, Shinozuka K, Ishikawa H, Yankee E, McGrogan M, Case C, Borlongan CV (2013). Stem cell recruitment of newly formed host cells via a successful seduction? Filling the gap between neurogenic niche and injured brain site. PLoS One 8(9):e74857.
  • Ishikawa H, Tajiri N, Vasconcellos J, Kaneko Y, Mimura O, Dezawa M, Borlongan CV (2013). Ischemic stroke brain sends indirect cell death signals to the heart. Stroke 44(11):3175-82.