Curcumin-loaded embryonic stem cell exosomes restored neurovascular unit following ischemia-reperfusion injury

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2016 Oct;79:360-369. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2016.09.002. Epub 2016 Sep 2.


We tested whether the combined nano-formulation, prepared with curcumin (anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective molecule) and embryonic stem cell exosomes (MESC-exocur), restored neurovascular loss following an ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury in mice. IR-injury was created in 8-10 weeks old mice and divided into two groups. Out of two IR-injured groups, one group received intranasal administration of MESC-exocur for 7days. Similarly, two sham groups were made and one group received MESC-exocur treatment. The study determined that MESC-exocur treatment reduced neurological score, infarct volume and edema following IR-injury. As compared to untreated IR group, MESC-exocur treated-IR group showed reduced inflammation and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor expression. Treatment of MESC-exocur also reduced astrocytic GFAP expression and alleviated the expression of NeuN positive neurons in IR-injured mice. In addition, MESC-exocur treatment restored vascular endothelial tight (claudin-5 and occludin) and adherent (VE-cadherin) junction proteins in IR-injured mice as compared to untreated IR-injured mice. These results suggest that combining the potentials of embryonic stem cell exosomes and curcumin can help neurovascular restoration following ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice.

Keywords: Curcumin; Exosomes; Neurons; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Compounding
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / chemistry
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / therapy*
  • Tight Junction Proteins / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Tight Junction Proteins
  • Curcumin