Mesenchymal Stem Cells Overexpressing FGF21 Preserve Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity in Experimental Ischemic Stroke

Phuong Thao Do, De Maw Chuang, Chung Che Wu, Chi Zong Huang, Yen Hua Chen, Shuo Jhen Kang, Yung Hsiao Chiang, Chaur Jong Hu, Kai Yun Chen

研究成果: 雜誌貢獻文章同行評審

3 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption is a prominent pathophysiological mechanism in stroke. Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) preserves BBB integrity following ischemic stroke. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) has been shown to be a potent neuroprotective agent that reduces neuroinflammation and protects against BBB leakage. In this study, we assessed the effects of transplantation of MSCs overexpressing FGF21 (MSCs-FGF21) on ischemia-induced neurological deficits and BBB breakdown. MSCs-FGF21 was injected into the rat brain via the intracerebroventricular route 24 h after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) surgery. The behavioral performance was assessed using modified neurological severity scores and Y-maze tests. BBB disruption was measured using Evans blue staining, IgG extravasation, and brain water content. The levels of tight junction proteins, aquaporin 4, and neuroinflammatory markers were analyzed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The activity of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) was determined using gelatin zymography. At day-5 after MCAO surgery, intraventricular injection of MSCs-FGF21 was found to significantly mitigate the neurological deficits and BBB disruption. The MCAO-induced loss of tight junction proteins, including ZO-1, occludin, and claudin-5, and upregulation of the edema inducer, aquaporin 4, were also remarkably inhibited. In addition, brain infarct volume, pro-inflammatory protein expression, and MMP-9 activation were effectively suppressed. These MCAO-induced changes were only marginally improved by treatment with MSCs-mCherry, which did not overexpress FGF21. Overexpression of FGF21 dramatically improved the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs in treating ischemic stroke. Given its multiple benefits and long therapeutic window, MSC-FGF21 therapy may be a promising treatment strategy for ischemic stroke.
期刊Translational Stroke Research
出版狀態接受/付印 - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 一般神經科學
  • 神經病學(臨床)
  • 心臟病學與心血管醫學


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