Following the failure of acute neuroprotection therapies, major efforts are currently made worldwide to promote neurological recovery and brain plasticity in the subacute and post-acute phases of stroke. Currently, there is hope that stroke recovery might be promoted by cell-based therapies. The field of stem cell therapy for cerebral ischemia has made significant progress in the last five years. A variety of stem cells have been tested in animal models and humans including adipose stem cells, human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells, human amnion epithelial cells, human placenta amniotic membrane-derived mesenchymal stem cells, adult human pluripotent-like olfactory stem cells, human bone marrow endothelial progenitor cells, electrically-stimulated human neuronal progenitor cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of human origin. Combination therapies in animal models include a mix of two or more therapeutic factors consisting of bone marrow stromal cells, exercise and thyroid hormones, endothelial progenitor cells overexpressing the chemokine CXCL12. Mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of transplanted cells include the “bystander” effects, paracrine mechanisms, or extracellular vesicles-mediated restorative effects. Mitochondria transfer also appears to be a powerful strategy for regenerative processes. Studies in humans are currently limited to a small number of studies using autologous stem cells mainly aimed to assess tolerability and side-effects of human stem cells in the clinic.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited