Mesenchymal stem cells that produce neurotrophic factors reduce ischemic damage in the rat middle cerebral artery occlusion model

Kazuhiko Kurozumi, Kiminori Nakamura, Takashi Tamiya, Yutaka Kawano, Keiji Ishii, Masayoshi Kobune, Sachie Hirai, Hiroaki Uchida, Katsunori Sasaki, Yoshinori Ito, Kazunori Kato, Osamu Honmou, Kiyohiro Houkin, Isao Date, Hirofumi Hamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

380 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were reported to ameliorate functional deficits after stroke in rats, with some of this improvement possibly resulting from the action of cytokines secreted by these cells. To enhance such cytokine effects, we previously transfected the telomerized human MSC with the BDNF gene using a fiber-mutant adenovirus vector and reported that such treatment contributed to improved ischemic recovery in a rat transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model. In the present study, we investigated whether other cytokines in addition to BDNF, i.e., GDNF, CNTF, or NT3, might have a similar or greater effect in this model. Rats that received MSC-BDNF (P < 0.05) or MSC-GDNF (P < 0.05) showed significantly more functional recovery as demonstrated by improved behavioral test results and reduced ischemic damage on MRI than did control rats 7 and 14 days following MCAO. On the other hand, rats that received MSC-CNTF or MSC-NT3 showed neither functional recovery nor ischemic damage reduction compared to control rats. Thus, MSC transfected with the BDNF or GDNF gene resulted in improved function and reduced ischemic damage in a rat model of MCAO. These data suggest that gene-modified cell therapy may be a useful approach for the treatment of stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-104
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Adenoviral vector
  • BDNF
  • CNTF
  • Cerebral infarction
  • GDNF
  • Gene therapy
  • MRI
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • NT3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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