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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 685683, 8 pages
Research Article

Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Stem Cells Improve Heat Tolerance and Hypothalamic Damage in Heat Stressed Mice

1School of Dentistry, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City 807, Taiwan
2Department of Medical Research, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan City 710, Taiwan
3Da-An Women and Children Hospital, Tainan City 710, Taiwan
4Department of Biotechnology, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan City 710, Taiwan

Received 13 November 2013; Revised 7 February 2014; Accepted 18 March 2014; Published 7 April 2014

Academic Editor: Nevena Radonjic

Copyright © 2014 Ling-Shu Tseng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heatstroke is characterized by excessive hyperthermia associated with systemic inflammatory responses, which leads to multiple organ failure, in which brain disorders predominate. This definition can be almost fulfilled by a mouse model of heatstroke used in the present study. Unanesthetized mice were exposed to whole body heating (41.2°C for 1 hour) and then returned to room temperature (26°C) for recovery. Immediately after termination of whole body heating, heated mice displayed excessive hyperthermia (body core temperature ~42.5°C). Four hours after termination of heat stress, heated mice displayed (i) systemic inflammation; (ii) ischemic, hypoxic, and oxidative damage to the hypothalamus; (iii) hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis impairment (reflected by plasma levels of both adrenocorticotrophic-hormone and corticosterone); (iv) decreased fractional survival; and (v) thermoregulatory deficits (e.g., they became hypothermia when they were exposed to room temperature). These heatstroke reactions can be significantly attenuated by human umbilical cord blood-derived CD34+ cells therapy. Our data suggest that human umbilical cord blood-derived stem cells therapy may improve outcomes of heatstroke in mice by reducing systemic inflammation as well as hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis impairment.