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Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Ischemic Stroke: Changes in Effects After Ex Vivo Culturing

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Although ex vivo culture expansion is necessary to use autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in treating stroke patients, and several researchers have utilized culture-expanded cells in their studies, the effects of culture expansion on neurogenesis and trophic support are unknown. Thus, we evaluated the impact of the passage of MSCs on their effects in a rat stroke model. The IV application of ex vivo-cultured human MSCs, earlier (passage 2) or later passage (passage 6), was performed in a rat stroke model. Behavioral tests, immunohistochemical studies, and quantitative analysis using the CAST-grid system were performed to evaluate the degree of neurogenesis. We also evaluated the levels of trophic factors in both control and MSC-treated rat brain extract. Compared to rats that received later-passage human MSCs, behavioral recovery and neurogenesis as revealed by bromodeoxyuridine staining were more pronounced in rats that received earlier-passage human MSCs (p < 0.01 in both cases). Double staining showed that most of the endogenous neuronal progenitor cells, but few human MSCs, expressed neuronal and glial phenotypes. Tissue levels of trophic factors, including glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and hepatocyte growth factor, were higher in earlier-passage MSC-treated brains than in control or later-passage MSC-treated brains (p < 0.01 in all cases). Our results indicate that ischemia-induced neurogenesis was enhanced by the IV administration of human MSCs. The effects were more pronounced with earlier-passage than with later-passage human MSCs, which may be related to the differential capacity in trophic support, depending on their passage.
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Keywords: Cerebral infarction; Mesenchymal stem cells; Neurogenesis; Stem cell

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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