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Human Neural Stem Cells in Stroke Treatment
Posted on: July 10, 2007

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a lethal stroke type. As mortality approaches 50%, and current medical therapy against ICH shows only limited effectiveness, an alternative approach is required, such as stem cell-based cell therapy.

Scientists have shown that intravenously transplanted human neural stem cells (NSCs) selectively migrate to the brain and induce behavioral recovery in rat ICH model, and that combined administration of NSCs and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) results in improved structural and functional outcome from cerebral ischemia. Scientists postulated that human NSCs overexpressing VEGF transplanted into cerebral cortex overlying ICH lesion could provide improved survival of grafted NSCs, increased angiogenesis and behavioral recovery in mouse ICH model. ICH was induced in adult mice by unilateral injection of bacterial collagenase into striatum. HB1.F3.VEGF human NSC line produced an amount of VEGF four times higher than parental F3 cell line in vitro, and induced behavioral improvement and 2-3 fold increase in cell survival at two weeks and eight weeks post-transplantation. As a result of such experiment, brain transplantation of F3 human NSCs over-expressing VEGF near ICH lesion sites provided differentiation and survival of grafted human NSCs and renewed angiogenesis of host brain and functional recovery of ICH animals.

This suggests a possible application of the human neural stem cell line, which is genetically modified to over-express VEGF, as a therapeutic agent for ICH-stroke.

Source: Lee HJ, Kim KS, Park IH, Kim SU; Human neural stem cells over-expressing VEGF provide neuroprotection, angiogenesis and functional recovery in mouse stroke model. PLoS ONE. 2007 Jan 17;2:e156.
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