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Background: Ischemic stroke, as a health problem caused by the reduced blood supply to the brain, can lead to the neuronal death. The number of reliable therapies for stroke is limited. MSCs exhibit therapeutic achievement. A major limitation of MSC application in cell therapy is the short survival span. MSCs affect target tissues through the secretion of many paracrine agents including EVs. This study aimed to investigate the effect of HUCPVCs-derived EVs on apoptosis, functional recovery, and neuroprotection. Methods: Ischemia was induced by MCAO in male Wistar rats. Animals were classified into sham, MCAO, MCAO + HUCPVC, and MCAO + EV groups. Treatments began at two hours after ischemia. Expressions of apoptotic-related proteins (BAX/BCl-2 and caspase-3 and -9), the amount of TUNEL-positive cells, neuronal density (MAP2), and dead neurons (Nissl staining) were assessed on day seven post MCAO. Results: Administration of EVs improved the sensorimotor function (p < 0.001) and reduced the apoptotic rate of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio (p < 0.001), as well as caspases and TUNEL-positive cells (p < 0.001) in comparison to the MCAO group. EV treatment also reduced the number of dead neurons and increased the number of MAP2+ cells in the IBZ (p < 0.001), as compared to the MCAO group. Conclusion:  Our findings showed that HUCPVCs-derived EVs are more effective than their mother’s cells in improving neural function, possibly via the regulation of apoptosis in the ischemic rats. The strategy of cell-free extracts is, thus, helpful in removing the predicaments surrounding cell therapy in targeting brain diseases.
Type of Study: Full Length | Subject: Related Fields

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