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Attenuate Astrogliosis in Preterm Fetal Sheep with hAECs

Secondary neural inflammation and astrogliosis and the subsequent white matter maturational failure observed in preterm infants associates with high rates of disability. Furthermore, beginning treatment in the critical interval after injury represents a formidable challenge. Now, a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article led by Laura Bennet (University of Auckland, New Zealand) reports that human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) administration after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep attenuates neuronal loss and the increase in microglia/astrocytes in the white and gray matter, while also partially improving myelination. However, this approach failed to improve significant recovery in brain activity. Overall, Davidson et al. suggest that stem cell treatments have a broad therapeutic window and may have strategic value to alleviate maturational failure.