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01.12.2019 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Neuroinflammation 1/2019

Neuroinflammation as a target for treatment of stroke using mesenchymal stem cells and extracellular vesicles

Journal of Neuroinflammation > Ausgabe 1/2019
Sylwia Dabrowska, Anna Andrzejewska, Barbara Lukomska, Miroslaw Janowski
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Ischemic stroke is the third cause of death in the developed countries and the main reason of severe disability. Brain ischemia leads to the production of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) by neurons and glial cells which results in astrocyte and microglia activation, pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines production, blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, infiltration of leukocytes from the peripheral blood into the infarcted area, and further exacerbation of tissue damage. However, some immune cells such as microglia or monocytes are capable to change their phenotype to anti-inflammatory, produce anti-inflammatory cytokines, and protect injured nervous tissue. In this situation, therapies, which will modulate the immune response after brain ischemia, such as transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are catching interest. Many experimental studies of ischemic stroke revealed that MSCs are able to modulate immune response and act neuroprotective, through stimulation of neurogenesis, oligodendrogenesis, astrogenesis, and angiogenesis. MSCs may also have an ability to replace injured cells, but the release of paracrine factors directly into the environment or via extracellular vesicles (EVs) seems to play the most pronounced role. EVs are membrane structures containing proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, and they express similar properties as the cells from which they are derived. However, EVs have lower immunogenicity, do not express the risk of vessel blockage, and have the capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier. Experimental studies of ischemic stroke showed that EVs have immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties; therefore, they can stimulate neurogenesis and angiogenesis. Up to now, 20 clinical trials with MSC transplantation into patients after stroke were performed, from which two concerned on only hemorrhagic stroke and 13 studied only on ischemic stroke. There is no clinical trial with EV injection into patients after brain ischemia so far, but the case with miR-124-enriched EVs administration is planned and probably there will be more clinical studies with EV transplantation in the near future.
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