Münster, Germany -
G-CSF is widely used as a stem cell mobilizer, inducing complement-dependent exit of CD34 and mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow. It has been postulated that G-CSF has not just hematopoietic but also neurogenic activity. For example, a study reported that G-CSF administration accelerates post spinal cord injury healing. Another paper demonstrated that G-CSF has neuroregenerative activity post-stroke.
A current paper (Diederich et al. Synergetic effects of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor and cognitive training on spatial learning and survival of newborn hippocampal neurons. PLoS One 2009;4(4):e5303. Epub 2009 Apr 24) suggests that the combination of G-CSF and mental training may actually synergize in terms of increasing memory.
The investigators treated rats with G-CSF when the rats were subjected to spatial learning training in an eight-arm radial maze.
It was observed that the G-CSF-treated group had significantly improved spatial learning ability !
Additionally the combination of G-CSF with cognitive training increased the survival of newborn neurons in the hippocampus as measured by bromodeoxyuridine and doublecortin immunohistochemistry.
These data may support some of the clinical observations of cognitive improvement in patients post stem cell use.
However, since G-CSF is given clinically, it is important to determine whether mental activity is affected in that group of patients.