Intravenous administration of human umbilical cord blood-derived AC133+ endothelial progenitor cells in rat stroke model reduces infarct volume: Magnetic resonance imaging and histological findings

Asm Iskander, Robert A. Knight, Zheng Gang Zhang, James R. Ewing, Adarsh Shankar, Nadimpalli Ravi S. Varma, Hassan Bagher-Ebadian, Meser M. Ali, Ali S. Arbab, Branislava Janic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) hold enormous therapeutic potential for ischemic vascular diseases. Previous studies have indicated that stem/progenitor cells derived from human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) improve functional recovery in stroke models. Here, we examined the effect of hUCB AC133+ EPCs on stroke development and resolution in a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) rat model. Since the success of cell therapies strongly depends on the ability to monitor in vivo the migration of transplanted cells, we also assessed the capacity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track in vivo the magnetically labeled cells that were administered. Animals were subjected to transient MCAo and 24 hours later injected intravenously with 107 hUCB AC133EPCs. MRI performed at days 1, 7, and 14 after the insult showed accumulation of transplanted cells in stroke-affected hemispheres and revealed that stroke volume decreased at a significantly higher rate in cell-treated animals. Immunohistochemistry analysis of brain tissues localized the administered cells in the stroke-affected hemispheres only and indicated that these cells may have significantly affected the magnitude of endogenous proliferation, angiogenesis, and neurogenesis. We conclude that transplanted cells selectively migrated to the ischemic brain parenchyma, where they exerted a therapeutic effect on the extent of tissue damage, regeneration, and time course of stroke resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-714
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • Angiogenesis
  • Brain ischemia
  • Stem/progenitor cell
  • Tissue regeneration
  • Umbilical cord blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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