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Cell Transplant. 2013;22(4):619-30. doi: 10.3727/096368912X655091. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

Neural stem cells and stroke.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan, ROC.


Acute ischemic stroke causes a disturbance of neuronal circuitry and disruption of the blood-brain barrier that can lead to functional disabilities. At present, thrombolytic therapy inducing recanalization of the occluded vessels in the cerebral infarcted area is a commonly used therapeutic strategy. However, only a minority of patients have timely access to this kind of therapy. Recently, neural stem cells (NSCs) as therapy for stroke have been developed in preclinical studies. NSCs are harbored in the subventricular zone (SVZ) as well as the subgranular zone of the brain. The microenvironment in the SVZ, including intercellular interactions, extracellular matrix proteins, and soluble factors, can promote NSC proliferation, self-renewal, and multipotency. Endogenous neurogenesis responds to insults of ischemic stroke supporting the existence of remarkable plasticity in the mammalian brain. Homing and integration of NSCs to the sites of damaged brain tissue are complex morphological and physiological processes. This review provides an update on current preclinical cell therapies for stroke, focusing on neurogenesis in the SVZ and dentate gyrus and on recruitment cues that promote NSC homing and integration to the site of the damaged brain.

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