Stroke is a debilitating disease that remains as a significant unmet need. Although our understanding of the disease pathology has advanced over the years, treatment options for stroke are limited. Recent studies have implicated the important role of healthy mitochondria in neuroprotection against stroke. Under the stroke pathological condition, transfer of healthy mitochondria is observed from astrocytes to ischemic neurons. However, without additional therapeutic intervention, such astrocyte-to-neuron transfer of mitochondria may not sufficiently afford a robust and stable therapeutic effect against the devastating primary insult and progressive neurodegeneration associated with stroke. We now explore the concept that transplantation of exogenous stem cells may serve as efficacious sources of healthy mitochondria for ischemic cells, not only neurons but also endothelial cells. This review captures the recent advances on the therapeutic potential of mitochondrial transfer as a novel stroke treatment. This paper is a review article. Referred literature in this article has been listed in the references section. The data sets supporting the conclusions of this article are available online by searching various databases, including PubMed.
Keywords: Astrocytes; endothelial cells; mitochondria; neurons; stem cells; stroke.