Cell-based and exosome therapy in diabetic stroke

Stroke is a global health concern and it is imperative that therapeutic strategies with wide treatment time frames be developed to improve neurological outcome in patients. Patients with diabetes mellitus who suffer a stroke have worse neurological outcomes and long-term functional recovery than nondiabetic stroke patients. Diabetes induced vascular damage and enhanced inflammatory milieu likely contributes to worse post stroke outcomes. Diabetic stroke patients have an aggravated pathological cascade, and treatments that benefit nondiabetic stroke patients do not necessarily translate to diabetic stroke patients. Therefore, there is a critical need to develop therapeutics for stroke specifically in the diabetic population. Stem cell based therapy for stroke is an emerging treatment option with wide therapeutic time window. Cell-based therapies for stroke promote endogenous central nervous system repair and neurorestorative mechanisms such as angiogenesis, neurogenesis, vascular remodeling, white matter remodeling, and also modulate inflammatory and immune responses at the local and systemic level. Emerging evidence suggests that exosomes and their cargo microRNA mediate cell therapy derived neurorestorative effects. Exosomes are small vesicles containing protein and RNA characteristic of its parent cell. Exosomes are transported by biological fluids and facilitate communication between neighboring and remote cells. MicroRNAs, a class of naturally occurring, small noncoding RNA sequences, contained within exosomes can regulate recipient cell’s signaling pathways and alter protein expression either acting alone or in concert with other microRNAs. In this perspective article, researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital summarize current knowledge and highlight the promising future of cell based and exosome therapy for stroke and specifically for diabetic stroke.


Mechanisms of cell-based and exosome therapy induced neurorestorative effects after stroke in diabetic rodents. Abbreviations: BBB, blood brain barrier; EC, endothelial cell; HUCBC, human umbilical cord blood cells; MSC, mesenchymal stromal cell; OL, oligodendrocyte.

Venkat P, Chopp M, Chen J. (2018) Cell-Based and Exosome Therapy in Diabetic Stroke. Stem Cells Transl Med [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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