Probing Multiple Transplant Delivery Routes of CD+34 Stem Cells for Promoting Behavioral and Histological Benefits in Experimental Ischemic Stroke

Stem Cells Transl Med. 2024 Feb 14;13(2):177-190. doi: 10.1093/stcltm/szad081.


Stroke is a leading cause of death in the US and around the world but with limited treatment options. Survivors often present with long-term cognitive and neurological deficits. Stem cell-based therapy has emerged as a potential treatment for stroke. While stem cell transplantation in stroke has reached clinical trials, mostly safety outcomes have been reported with efficacy readouts warranting more studies. In an effort to optimize the stem cell regimen for stroke, here we conducted vis-a-vis comparison of different routes of transplantation, namely, intracerebral, intraarterial, and intranasal delivery of expanded human CD34 + stem cells, called ProtheraCytes, in the established stroke model of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) using adult Sprague-Dawley rats. After adjusting for the dose and subacute timing of cell delivery, animals were randomly assigned to receive either ProtheraCytes or vehicle. Motor and neurological assays from days 7 to 28 post-stroke revealed significant functional recovery across all 3 delivery routes of ProtheraCytes compared to vehicle-treated stroke rats. Additionally, ProtheraCytes-transplanted stroke rats displayed significantly reduced infarct size and cell loss in the peri-infarct area coupled with enhanced neurogenesis and angiogenesis compared to vehicle-treated stroke rats. These results highlight the safety and efficacy of transplanting ProtheraCytes, including via the minimally invasive intranasal route, in conferring robust and stable behavioral and histological positive outcomes in experimental stroke.

Keywords: angiogenesis; cell delivery route; cell transplantation; cerebral ischemia; functional recovery; neurogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia* / therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / therapy
  • Ischemic Stroke*
  • Neurogenesis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recovery of Function
  • Stem Cells / pathology
  • Stroke* / pathology
  • Stroke* / therapy

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