“Cell transplantation strategies therefore typically introduce a stress challenge at the time of transplantation as the cells are switched from 20 percent to 3 percent oxygen, which is the average in adult organs,” she added.
A previous study had indicated that cardiac stem cells showed a better survival rate when the oxygen tension during their culturing was reduced. In this study, the Cambridge and Edinburgh teams wanted to learn if the same might prove true for neural stem cells (NSCs). So they modeled the oxygen stress that occurs during transplantation and, using NSCs collected from young rats, demonstrated that reducing the oxygen tension during culture in the laboratory from 20 percent to 3 percent resulted in significant cell death, while maintaining a 3 percent level protected them.
They saw similar results when they transplanted the stem cells into the brains of adult rats.