Delayed and repeated intranasal delivery of bone marrow stromal cells increases regeneration and functional recovery after ischemic stroke in mice

Monica J. Chau, Todd C. Deveau, Xiaohuan Gu, Yo Sup Kim, Yun Xu, Shan Ping Yu, Ling Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, yet there are limited treatments available. Intranasal administration is a novel non-invasive strategy to deliver cell therapy into the brain. Cells delivered via the intranasal route can migrate from the nasal mucosa to the ischemic infarct and show acute neuroprotection as well as functional benefits. However, there is little information about the regenerative effects of this transplantation method in the delayed phase of stroke. We hypothesized that repeated intranasal deliveries of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) would be feasible and could enhance delayed neurovascular repair and functional recovery after ischemic stroke. Results: Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry were performed to analyze the expression of regenerative factors including SDF-1α, CXCR4, VEGF and FAK in BMSCs. Ischemic stroke targeting the somatosensory cortex was induced in adult C57BL/6 mice by permanently occluding the right middle cerebral artery and temporarily occluding both common carotid arteries. Hypoxic preconditioned (HP) BMSCs (HP-BMSCs) with increased expression of surviving factors HIF-1α and Bcl-xl (1×10 6 cells/100 μl per mouse) or cell media were administered intranasally at 3, 4, 5, and 6 days after stroke. Mice received daily BrdU (50 mg/kg) injections until sacrifice. BMSCs were prelabeled with Hoechst 33342 and detected within the peri-infarct area 6 and 24 h after transplantation. In immunohistochemical staining, significant increases in NeuN/BrdU and Glut-1/BrdU double positive cells were seen in stroke mice received HP-BMSCs compared to those received regular BMSCs. HP-BMSC transplantation significantly increased local cerebral blood flow and improved performance in the adhesive removal test. Conclusions: This study suggests that delayed and repeated intranasal deliveries of HP-treated BMSCs is an effective treatment to encourage regeneration after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalBMC Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 12 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • BMSC
  • Hypoxic preconditioning
  • Intranasal
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Trophic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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