Improvement of Neurological Function in Rats with Ischemic Stroke by Adipose-derived Pericytes.
ABSTRACT: Pericytes possess high multipotent features and cell plasticity, and produce angiogenic and neurotrophic factors that indicate their high regenerative potential. The aim of this study was to investigate whether transplantation of adipose-derived pericytes can improve functional recovery and neurovascular plasticity after ischemic stroke in rats. Rat adipose-derived pericytes were isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to 90 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by intravenous injection of rat adipose-derived pericytes 24?h later. Functional recovery evaluations were performed at 1, 7, 14, and 28 days after injection of rat adipose-derived pericytes. Angiogenesis and neurogenesis were examined in rat brains using immunohistochemistry. It was observed that intravenous injection of adipose-derived pericytes significantly improved recovery of neurological function in rats with stroke compared to phosphate-buffered saline-treated controls. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the number of blood capillaries was significantly increased along the ischemic boundary zone of the cortex and striatum in stroke rats treated with adipose-derived pericytes. In addition, treatment with adipose-derived pericytes increased the number of doublecortin positive neuroblasts. Our data suggest that transplantation of adipose-derived pericytes can significantly improve the neurologic status and contribute to neurovascular remodeling in rats after ischemic stroke. These data provide a new insight for future cell therapies that aim to treat ischemic stroke patients.
Project description:Epigenetic modifications have emerged as attractive molecular substrates that integrate extrinsic changes into the determination of cell identity. Since stroke-related brain damage releases micro-environmental cues, we examined the role of a signaling-induced epigenetic pathway, an atypical protein kinase C (aPKC)-mediated phosphorylation of CREB-binding protein (CBP), in post-stroke neurovascular remodeling. Using a knockin mouse strain (CbpS436A) where the aPKC-CBP pathway was defective, we show that disruption of the aPKC-CBP pathway in a murine focal ischemic stroke model increases the reprogramming efficiency of ischemia-activated pericytes (i-pericytes) to neural precursors. As a consequence of enhanced cellular reprogramming, CbpS436A mice show an increased transient population of locally derived neural precursors after stroke, while displaying a reduced number of i-pericytes, impaired vascular remodeling, and perturbed motor recovery during the chronic phase of stroke. Together, this study elucidates the role of the aPKC-CBP pathway in modulating neurovascular remodeling and functional recovery following focal ischemic stroke.
Project description:Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common metabolic disease among the middle-aged and older population, which leads to an increase of stroke incidence and poor stroke recovery. The present study was designed to investigate the impact of DM on brain damage and on ischemic brain repair after stroke in aging animals.DM was induced in middle-aged rats (13 months) by administration of nicotinamide and streptozotocin. Rats with confirmed hyperglycemia status 30 days after nicotinamide-streptozotocin injection and age-matched non-DM rats were subjected to embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion.Middle-aged rats subjected to nicotinamide-streptozotocin injection became hyperglycemic and developed cognitive deficits 2 months after induction of DM. Histopathologic analysis revealed that there was sporadic vascular disruption, including cerebral microvascular thrombosis, blood-brain barrier leakage, and loss of paravascular aquaporin-4 in the hippocampi. Importantly, middle-aged DM rats subjected to stroke had exacerbated sensorimotor and cognitive deficits compared with age-matched non-DM ischemic rats during stroke recovery. Compared with age-matched non-DM ischemic rats, DM ischemic rats exhibited aggravated neurovascular disruption in the bilateral hippocampi and white matter, suppressed stroke-induced neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis, and impaired dendritic/spine plasticity. However, DM did not enlarge infarct volume.Our data suggest that DM exacerbates neurovascular damage and hinders brain repair processes, which likely contribute to the impairment of stroke recovery.
Project description:The concept of the "neurovascular unit," emphasizing the interactions between neural and vascular components in the brain, raised the notion that neural progenitor cell (NPC) transplantation therapy aimed at neural repair may be insufficient for the treatment of ischemic stroke. Here, we demonstrate that enhanced neurovascular recovery via cotransplantation of NPCs and embryonic stem cell-derived vascular progenitor cells (VPCs) in a rat stroke model is correlated with improved functional recovery after stroke. We found that cotransplantation promoted the survival, migration, differentiation, and maturation of neuronal and vascular cells derived from the cotransplanted progenitors. Furthermore, it triggered an increased generation of VEGF-, BDNF-, and IGF1-expressing neural cells derived from the grafted NPCs. Consistently, compared with transplantation of NPCs alone, cotransplantation more effectively improved the neurobehavioral deficits and attenuated the infarct volume. Thus, cotransplantation of NPCs and VPCs represents a more effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of stroke than transplantation of NPCs alone.
Project description:Although epidemiological evidence suggests significant sex and gender-based differences in stroke risk and recovery, females have been widely under-represented in preclinical stroke research. The neurovascular sequelae of brain ischemia in females, in particular, are largely uncertain. We set out to address this gap by a multimodal in vivo study of neurovascular recovery from endothelin-1 model of cortical focal-stroke in sham vs. ovariectomized female rats. Three weeks post ischemic insult, sham operated females recapitulated the phenotype previously reported in male rats in this model, of normalized resting perfusion but sustained peri-lesional cerebrovascular hyperreactivity. In contrast, ovariectomized (Ovx) females showed reduced peri-lesional resting blood flow, and elevated cerebrovascular responsivity to hypercapnia in the peri-lesional and contra-lateral cortices. Electrophysiological recordings showed an attenuation of theta to low-gamma phase-amplitude coupling in the peri-lesional tissue of Ovx animals, despite relative preservation of neuronal power. Further, this chronic stage neuronal network dysfunction was inversely correlated with serum estradiol concentration. Our pioneering data demonstrate dramatic differences in spontaneous recovery in the neurovascular unit between Ovx and Sham females in the chronic stage of stroke, underscoring the importance of considering hormonal-dependent aspects of the ischemic sequelae in the development of novel therapeutic approaches and patient recruitment in clinical trials.
Project description:Although adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) exert their therapeutic potential in ischemic stroke, the migration of ADSCs in injured area is not apparently observed after intravenous administration. ADSCs are an important source of exosomes which hold great promise as an endogenous drug delivery system for the treatment of cerebral ischemia given their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Here we investigated whether ADSCs-derived exosomes mediated miRNAs transfer and thus promoted neurological recovery after stroke. We first proved that miR-126 levels were reduced in patients' plasma with acute ischemic stroke and in rat plasma and brain tissue after ischemia. To test the effect of exosomal miR-126, we employed overexpression and knock-down technologies to up-regulate or inhibit miR-126 level in ADSCs and thus acquired miR-126+ exosomes and miR-126- exosomes, respectively. Compared with control, systemic administration of ADSCs-derived exosomes significantly increased the expression of von Willebrand factor (an endothelia cell marker) and doublecortin (a neuroblasts marker) and improved functional recovery in stroke rats. ADSCs-derived exosomes also resulted in a decrease of neuron cell death and an increase of cell proliferation compared with control. Importantly, these outcomes were further enhanced with miR-126+ exosomes treatment and were significantly decreased with miR-126- exosomes treatment, compared to naïve exosomes treatment. MiR-126+ exosomes also inhibited microglial activation and the expression of inflammatory factors in vivo and in vitro. Our results suggest that intravenous administration of miR-126+ exosomes post stroke improves functional recovery, enhances neurogenesis, inhibits neuroinflammation, and represents a novel treatment for stroke.
Project description:The aim of this study was to determine whether adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) expressing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene can improve endothelial function, recover the impaired VEGF signaling pathway and enhance smooth muscle contents in a rat diabetic erectile dysfunction (DED) model. DED rats were induced via intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (40 mg/kg), and then screened by apomorphine (100 µg/kg). Five groups were used (n?=?12/group)-Group 1 (G1): intracavernous injection of lentivirus-VEGF; G2: ADSCs injection; G3: VEGF-expressing ADSCs injection; G4: Phosphate buffered saline injection; G1-G4 were DED rats; G5: normal rats. The mean arterial pressure (MAP) and intracavernosal pressure (ICP) were measured at days 7 and 28 after the injections. The components of the VEGF system, endothelial, smooth muscle, pericytes markers in cavernoursal tissue were assessed. On day 28 after injection, the group with intracavernosum injection of ADSCs expressing VEGF displayed more efficiently and significantly raised ICP and ICP/MAP (p<0.01) than those with ADSCs or lentivirus-VEGF injection. Western blot and immunofluorescent analysis demonstrated that improved erectile function by ADSCs-VEGF was associated with increased expression of endothelial markers (VEGF, VEGF R1, VEGF R2, eNOS, CD31 and vWF), smooth muscle markers (a-actin and smoothelin), and pericyte markers (CD146 and NG2). ADSCs expressing VEGF produced a therapeutic effect and restored erectile function in diabetic rats by enhancing VEGF-stimulated endothelial function and increasing the contents of smooth muscle and pericytes.
Project description:Pre-existing diabetes mellitus worsens brain functionality in ischemic stroke. We have previously shown that type 2 diabetic rats exhibit enhanced dysfunctional cerebral neovascularization and when these rats are subjected to cerebral ischemic reperfusion injury develop hemorrhagic transformation and greater neurological deficits. However, our knowledge of vascular and functional plasticity during the recovery phase of diabetic stroke is limited. This study tested the hypothesis that vascular repair is impaired in the poststroke period in diabetes mellitus, and this is associated with poor sensorimotor and cognitive function. We further hypothesized that glycemic control prevents impaired vascularization and improves functional outcome in diabetes mellitus.Vascularization was assessed in the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres in control, diabetes mellitus and diabetes mellitus plus metformin groups 14 days after ischemic reperfusion injury, as well as in respective sham controls. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-stained vasculature was achieved by confocal microscopy, and stereological parameters, including vascular volume and surface area, were measured. Astrogliosis was determined by glial fibrillary acidic protein staining. The relative rates of sensorimotor recovery, cognitive decline, and spontaneous activity were assessed.Vascular density in the peri-infarct area was significantly reduced in diabetes mellitus, whereas there was reparative neovascularization in control rats. Astroglial swelling and reactivity were more pronounced in diabetic stroke compared with control stroke. Diabetes mellitus blunted sensorimotor recovery and also exacerbated anxiety-like symptoms and cognitive deficits. Glycemic control started after stroke partially prevented these changes.Diabetes mellitus impairs poststroke reparative neovascularization and impedes the recovery. Glycemic control after stroke can improve neurovascular repair and improve functional outcome.
Project description:In cerebral ischemia, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have a dual role by acutely disrupting tight junction proteins (TJPs) in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and chronically promoting angiogenesis. Since TJP remodeling of the neurovascular unit (NVU) is important in recovery and early inhibition of MMPs is neuroprotective, we hypothesized that short-term MMP inhibition would reduce infarct size and promote angiogenesis after ischemia. Adult spontaneously hypertensive rats had a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion with reperfusion. At the onset of ischemia, they received a single dose of the MMP inhibitor, GM6001. They were studied at multiple times up to 4 weeks with immunohistochemistry, biochemistry, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We observed newly formed vessels in peri-infarct regions at 3 weeks after reperfusion. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI showed BBB opening in new vessels. Along with the new vessels, pericytes expressed zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and MMP-3, astrocytes expressed ZO-1, occludin, and MMP-2, while endothelial cells expressed claudin-5. The GM6001, which reduced tissue loss at 3 to 4 weeks, significantly increased new vessel formation with expression of TJPs and MMPs. Our results show that pericytes and astrocytes act spatiotemporally, contributing to extraendothelial TJP formation, and that MMPs are involved in BBB restoration during recovery. Early MMP inhibition benefits neurovascular remodeling after stroke.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Over 50% of acute stroke patients have hyperglycemia, which is associated with a poorer prognosis and outcome. Our aim was to investigate the impact of hyperglycemia on behavioral recovery and brain repair of delivered human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAD-MSCs) in a rat model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). METHODS:Hyperglycemia was induced in rats by the administration of nicotinamide and streptozotocin. The rats were then subjected to stroke by a pMCAO model. At 48 h post-stroke, 1 × 106 hAD-MSCs or saline were intravenously administered. We evaluated behavioral outcome, infarct size by MRI, and brain plasticity markers by immunohistochemistry (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], Iba-1, synaptophysin, doublecortin, CD-31, collagen-IV, and α-smooth muscle actin [α-SMA]). RESULTS:The hyperglycemic group exhibited more severe neurological deficits; lesion size and diffusion coefficient were larger compared with the non-hyperglycemic rats. GFAP, Iba-1, and α-SMA were increased in the hyperglycemic group. The hyperglycemic rats administered hAD-MSCs at 48 h after pMCAO had improved neurological impairment. Although T2-MRI did not show differences in lesion size between groups, the rADC values were lower in the treated group. Finally, the levels of GFAP, Iba-1, and arterial wall thickness were lower in the treated hyperglycemic group than in the nontreated hyperglycemic group at 6 weeks post-stroke. CONCLUSIONS:Our data suggest that rats with hyperglycemic ischemic stroke exhibit increased lesion size and impaired brain repair processes, which lead to impairments in behavioral recovery after pMCAO. More importantly, hAD-MSC administration induced better anatomical tissue preservation, associated with a good behavioral outcome.
Project description:Tissue plasminogen activator is the only U.S. FDA-approved therapy for ischemic stroke, while there is no specific medication for hemorrhagic stroke. Therefore, the treatment of acute stroke continues to be a major unmet clinical need. We explored the effects of miR-195 on neurovascular protection and its potential in treating acute stroke. Using both cellular and animal studies, we showed that miR-195's beneficial effects are mediated by four mechanisms: (1) anti-apoptosis for injured neural cells by directly suppressing Sema3A/Cdc42/JNK signaling, (2) neural regeneration by promoting neural stem cell proliferation and migration, (3) anti-inflammation by directly blocking the NF-kB pathway, and (4) improvement of endothelial functions. We intravenously injected miR-195 carried by nanoparticles into rats with either ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke in the acute stage. The results showed that miR-195 reduced the size of brain damage and improved functional recovery in both types of stroke rats. The reduction of injured brain volume could be up to 45% in ischemic stroke and approximately 30% in hemorrhagic stroke. The therapeutic window between stroke onset and miR-195 treatment could be up to 6 h. Our data demonstrated that miR-195 possesses the potential to become a new drug to treat acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.