Stroke without thrombolytics calls stem cells

Monday June 16th, 2008 @ 02:33:35 EST

From Category: Migration
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Regensburg, Germany -

Bone marrow stem cells are known to possess numerous regenerative properties in humans (clinical trials), including healing of heart attack damaged myocardium, reversing liver failure, and stimulating new blood vessel production in patients with ischemic limbs.  Bone marrow stem cells may be mobilized using conventional agents such as G-CSF, or other newer agents such as parathyroid hormone, or some even have reported seaweed extracts !!

In a recent paper (Hennemann et al. Mobilization of CD34+ hematopoietic cells, colony-forming cells and long-term culture-initiating cells into the peripheral blood of patients with an acute cerebral ischemic insult. Cytotherapy 2008;10(3):303-11) the natural mobilization of stem cells after stroke was examined.  Specifically the report looked at 10 patients who had an acute stroke involving infarction of the middle cerebral artery.  4 patients were treated with thrombolytics and 6 were not.  Only the patients that did not recieve thrombolytics were observed to have a high level of bone marrow stem cell mobilization. 

Specifically, there was no increase in the number of bone marrow CD34 stem cells in the blood, nor increased colony forming cells or long term culture initiating cells in patients who recieved thrombolytics.  In contrast, patients who did not take thrombolytics had an average of 1181 CD34 cells per ml on day 1 after the stroke and approximately 3000 CD34 cells per ml on day 7.  Similar increases in the colony forming cell and long term culture initiating cells were seen.

These data support other papers in which strokes were associated in mobilization of stem cells.  For example, in a previous study a positive correlation was seen between extent of CD34 stem cell mobilization and positive outcome after the stroke. 

Next steps in the treatment of stroke may involve administration of autologous stem cells in a manner similar to that performed using bone marrow administration after heart attacks.  Specifically, after heart attacks a gradient of chemokines is produced by the injured myocardium that calls in stem cells so that they make induce some level of regeneration.  Autologous stem cells are administered at the peak of chemotactic activity so as to augment the endogenous repair process.  Maybe something similar can be performed for patients after stroke.

An interesting treatment for stroke involves augmentation of endogenous stem cells by treatment with erythropoietin and human chorionic gonadotropin which is being performed by the Canadian company Stem Cell Therapeutics.   


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