Timing of Intra-Arterial Neural Stem Cell Transplantation After Hypoxia–Ischemia Influences Cell Engraftment, Survival, and Differentiation
Background and Purpose—Intra-arterial neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation shows promise as a minimally invasive therapeutic option for stroke. We assessed the effect of timing of transplantation on cell engraftment, survival, and differentiation.
Methods—Mouse NSCs transduced with a green fluorescent protein and renilla luciferase reporter gene were transplanted into animals 6 and 24 hours and 3, 7, and 14 days after hypoxia–ischemia (HI). Bioluminescent imaging was used to assess cell survival at 6 hours and 4 and 7 days after transplantation. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess NSC survival and phenotypic differentiation 1 month after transplantation. NSC receptor expression and brain gene expression were evaluated using real-time reverse transcription–quantitative polymerase chain reaction to elucidate mechanisms of cell migration. Boyden chamber assays were used to assess cell migratory potential in vitro.
Results—NSC transplantation 3 days after HI resulted in significantly higher cell engraftment and survival at 7 and 30 days compared with all other groups (P<0.05). Early transplantation at 6 and 24 hours after HI resulted in significantly higher expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (P=0.0140), whereas late transplantation at 7 and 14 days after HI resulted in higher expression of β-tubulin (P<0.0001). Corroborating the high cell engraftment 3 days after HI was robust expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, CCL2, and CXCL12 in brain homogenates 3 days after HI.
Conclusion—Intra-arterial transplantation 3 days after HI results in the highest cell engraftment. Early transplantation of NSCs leads to greater differentiation into astrocytes, whereas transplantation at later time points leads to greater differentiation into neurons.
- Received September 15, 2011.
- Revision received January 7, 2012.
- Accepted February 6, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.