Stroke. 2018 May;49(5):1248-1256.

Human Neural Stem Cell Extracellular Vesicles Improve Recovery in a Porcine Model of Ischemic Stroke.

Webb RL1,2, Kaiser EE2,3, Jurgielewicz BJ2, Spellicy S2, Scoville SL1, Thompson TA1, Swetenburg RL1, Hess DC4, West FD2,3, Stice SL5.

Author information



Recent work from our group suggests that human neural stem cell-derived extracellular vesicle (NSC EV) treatment improves both tissue and sensorimotor function in a preclinical thromboembolic mouse model of stroke. In this study, NSC EVs were evaluated in a pig ischemic stroke model, where clinically relevant end points were used to assess recovery in a more translational large animal model.

Ischemic stroke was induced by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), and either NSC EV or PBS treatment was administered intravenously at 2, 14, and 24 hours post-MCAO. NSC EV effects on tissue level recovery were evaluated via magnetic resonance imaging at 1 and 84 days post-MCAO. Effects on functional recovery were also assessed through longitudinal behavior and gait analysis testing.

NSC EV treatment was neuroprotective and led to significant improvements at the tissue and functional levels in stroked pigs. NSC EV treatment eliminated intracranial hemorrhage in ischemic lesions in NSC EV pigs (0 of 7) versus control pigs (7 of 8). NSC EV-treated pigs exhibited a significant decrease in cerebral lesion volume and decreased brain swelling relative to control pigs 1-day post-MCAO. NSC EVs significantly reduced edema in treated pigs relative to control pigs, as assessed by improved diffusivity through apparent diffusion coefficient maps. NSC EVs preserved white matter integrity with increased corpus callosum fractional anisotropy values 84 days post-MCAO. Behavior and mobility improvements paralleled structural changes as NSC EV-treated pigs exhibited improved outcomes, including increased exploratory behavior and faster restoration of spatiotemporal gait parameters.

This study demonstrated for the first time that in a large animal model novel NSC EVs significantly improved neural tissue preservation and functional levels post-MCAO, suggesting NSC EVs may be a paradigm changing stroke therapeutic.