The research lab of Nobuyuki Ishibashi, M.D., at Children’s National Hospital, recently received $3.3 million in additional funding for research into cell therapy for neuroprotection in children with congenital heart disease. The new support comes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.
The research goal
The overarching goal of the award is to establish detailed molecular signatures from critical cell populations for tissue repair and regeneration at single cell resolution after bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cell (BM-MSC) delivery. The team has shown cellular, structural and behavioral improvements in pre-clinical models after delivery of BM-MSCs through cardiopulmonary bypass for children with congenital heart disease. However, the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic action of BM-MSCs still remain largely unknown. This R01 renewal will address the key knowledge gap.
Why it matters
Significant neurological delay is emerging as one of the most important current challenges for children with congenital heart disease, yet few treatment options are currently available.
The Ishibashi lab has demonstrated the efficacy and utility of using cardiopulmonary bypass to deliver BM-MSCs to improve neurological impairments in children undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease. Most notably, this included development of a phase 1 clinical trial, MeDCaP, at Children’s National.
The big picture
Together with the ongoing clinical trial established from the previous award, identifying molecular signatures of BM-MSC treatment and mining specific BM-MSC exosomes for unique cardiopulmonary bypass pathology will significantly improve understanding of this cell-based treatment. This work will also provide a new therapeutic paradigm for potential cell-free MSC-based therapies for neuroprotection in children with congenital heart disease.