Background and purpose: Several studies suggest that various types of cellular therapies enhance recovery after stroke in animal models. IA-based delivery of cells to the brain is under investigation for stroke, but it is unknown whether cells are injured as a result of being injected through a catheter or exposed to iodinated contrast medium or solutions containing heparin.
Materials and methods: We assessed the effect of catheterization with the Excelsior SL-10 catheter or exposure to heparin or iodine contrast on human bone marrow MNCs. Viability and cell injury were assessed by trypan blue exclusion, caspase-3 activity, and lipid peroxidation. Cellular function of MNCs was assessed by their production and release of VEGF, IL-10, and IGF-1.
Results: Flow rates of 10 million cells from 0.5 to 2 mL/min did not alter MNC viability; however, 5 mL/min of MNCs did reduce viability by 19%. Iodine and low-dose heparin exposure did not affect cell viability; however, high-dose heparin was cytotoxic. Catheter delivery at 2 mL/min did not affect levels of VEGF, IL-10, or IGF-1.
Conclusions: MNCs do not appear to be damaged by heparin, iodine contrast, and the Excelsior SL-10 catheter at flow rates up to 2 mL/min. However, higher flow rates did reduce viability, and high-dose heparin did cause cell death.