Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles attenuate neuroinflammation evoked by focal brain injury in rats

J Neuroinflammation. 2019; 16: 216.

Published online 2019 Nov 13. doi: 10.1186/s12974-019-1602-5

Dabrowska S1, Andrzejewska A1, Strzemecki D2, Muraca M3, Janowski M1, Lukomska B4.

Author information

  1. NeuroRepair Department, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, PAS, 5 Pawinskiego Street, 02-106, Warsaw, Poland.
  2. Department of Experimental Pharmacology, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, PAS, 5 Pawinskiego Street, 02-106, Warsaw, Poland.
  3. Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of Padua, Via Giustiniani 3, 35128, Padua, Italy.
  4. NeuroRepair Department, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, PAS, 5 Pawinskiego Street, 02-106, Warsaw, Poland. Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript..


BACKGROUND: Ischemic stroke is the major cause of long-term severe disability and death in aged population. Cell death in the infarcted region of the brain induces immune reaction leading to further progression of tissue damage. Immunomodulatory function of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been shown in multiple preclinical studies; however, it has not been successfully translated to a routine clinical practice due to logistical, economical, regulatory, and intellectual property obstacles. It has been recently demonstrated that therapeutic effect of intravenously administered MSCs can be recapitulated by extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from them. However, in contrast to MSCs, EVs were not capable to decrease stroke-induced neuroinflammation. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate if intra-arterial delivery of MSC-derived EVs will have stronger impact on focal brain injury-induced neuroinflammation, which mimics ischemic stroke, and how it compares to MSCs.

METHODS: The studies were performed in adult male Wistar rats with focal brain injury induced by injection of 1 μl of 50 nmol ouabain into the right hemisphere. Two days after brain insult, 5 × 105 human bone marrow MSCs (hBM-MSCs) labeled with Molday ION or 1.3 × 109 EVs stained with PKH26 were intra-arterially injected into the right hemisphere under real-time MRI guidance. At days 1, 3, and 7 post-transplantation, the rats were decapitated, the brains were removed, and the presence of donor cells or EVs was analyzed. The cellular immune response in host brain was evaluated immunohistochemically, and humoral factors were measured by multiplex immunoassay.

RESULTS: hBM-MSCs and EVs transplanted intra-arterially were observed in the rat ipsilateral hemisphere, near the ischemic region. Immunohistochemical analysis of brain tissue showed that injection of hBM-MSCs or EVs leads to the decrease of cell activation by ischemic injury, i.e., astrocytes, microglia, and infiltrating leucocytes, including T cytotoxic cells. Furthermore, we observed significant decrease of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines after hBM-MSC or EV infusion comparing with non-treated rats with focal brain injury.

CONCLUSIONS: Intra-arterially injected EVs attenuated neuroinflammation evoked by focal brain injury, which mimics ischemic stroke, and this effect was comparable to intra-arterial hBM-MSC transplantation. Thus, intra-arterial injection of EVs might be an attractive therapeutic approach, which obviates MSC-related obstacles.

KEYWORDS: Extracellular vesicles; Immune response; Intra-arterial transplantation; Ischemic brain injury; Mesenchymal stem cells; Stroke

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