Review Article | Published:

Review Article

Pharmacological approaches promoting stem cell-based therapy following ischemic stroke insults

Acta Pharmacologica Sinica volume 39, pages 695712 (2018) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Stroke can lead to long-term neurological deficits. Adult neurogenesis, the continuous generation of newborn neurons in distinct regions of the brain throughout life, has been considered as one of the appoaches to restore the neurological function following ischemic stroke. However, ischemia-induced spontaneous neurogenesis is not suffcient, thus cell-based therapy, including infusing exogenous stem cells or stimulating endogenous stem cells to help repair of injured brain, has been studied in numerous animal experiments and some pilot clinical trials. While the effects of cell-based therapy on neurological function during recovery remains unproven in randomized controlled trials, pharmacological agents have been administrated to assist the cell-based therapy. In this review, we summarized the limitations of ischemia-induced neurogenesis and stem-cell transplantation, as well as the potential proneuroregenerative effects of drugs that may enhance efficacy of cell-based therapies. Specifically, we discussed drugs that enhance proliferation, migration, differentiation, survival and function connectivity of newborn neurons, which may restore neurobehavioral function and improve outcomes in stroke patients.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) China-Canada Joint Health Research Initiative to Hong-shuo SUN (CIHR, FRN #132571), and Canadian Institutes of Health Research to Zhong-ping FENG (PJT-153155). Vivian SZETO holds a Canadian Graduate Scholarship from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC-CGS-M).

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Affiliations

  1. Physiology

    • Shu-zhen Zhu
    • , Vivian Szeto
    • , Mei-hua Bao
    • , Hong-shuo Sun
    •  & Zhong-ping Feng
  2. Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

    • Shu-zhen Zhu
    • , Mei-hua Bao
    •  & Hong-shuo Sun
  3. King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A8

    • Shu-zhen Zhu
  4. Department of Neurology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510282, China

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Hong-shuo Sun or Zhong-ping Feng.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/aps.2018.23