Researchers from the Cellular and Molecular Imaging Laboratory in Detroit have demonstrated that stem/progenitor cells derived from human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) improve functional recovery in stroke models. A specific type of stem cells isolated from human cord blood (AC133+ EPCs) demonstrated that the transplanted cells accumulate in stroke affected areas of the brain. MRI demonstrated that the accumulated transplanted cells are associated with a decrease in stroke volume. Possible mechanisms may involve increased endogenous proliferation, angiogenesis, and neurogenesis as a consequence of the presence of the transplanted cord blood stem cells. The scientists reporting the findings conclude that transplanted cells selectively migrate to the ischemic brain parenchyma, where they exerted a therapeutic effect on the extent of tissue damage, regeneration, and time course of stroke resolution.