Can treatment with stem cells repair brain injury after ischemic stroke?

In her PhD thesis, Ingrid Lovise Augestad has found that a special type of glia cells with neuroprotective effects might have a role as part of stem cell transplantation to repair ischemic brain lesions.


MAIN RESULTS:

  1. In rats, co-grafting of neural stem cells with olfactory ensheathing cells can promote graft survival in stroke induced lesions.
  2. The treatment did not improve short-term function in this small study.

THESIS DEFENCE:

Thesis: Combinatory strategies for promoting tissue remodelling and endogenous plasticity after experimental ischemic stroke
Candidate: Ingrid Lovise Augestad
Time: May 9, 2018 at 12:15
Place: St. Olavs Hospital: Norwegian Brain Center, Auditorium MTA
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


SUMMARY:

(1) Neuronal cells as well as glia cells die during an ischemic stroke. Neural stem cells can develop into both neuronal and glia cells, but the effect of treatment with stem cells following stroke is limited by the extensive cell death immediately following transplantation. By co-grafting with olfactory ensheathing cells, a special type of glia with proven neuroprotective, immunomodulatory, and angiogenic effects, this problem might be overcome.

Augestad and co-workers found a relatively high survival of both cell types in rats with small lesions. However, the survival of the transplanted cells were much lower in larger lesions.

The rats also performed a simple test of functional asymmetries several times during the first month after being treated with neural stem cells. The function did not improve over time, but the researchers underline that the study is too small and too short-lasting to expect significant changes in function.


REFERENCES:

(1) Augestad, I. L., Nyman, A. K. G., Costa, A. I., Barnett, S. C., Sandvig, A., Håberg, A. K., & Sandvig, I. (2017). Effects of neural stem cell and olfactory ensheathing cell co-transplants on tissue remodelling after transient focal cerebral ischemia in the adult ratNeurochemical research42(6), 1599-1609