Stem cell-based regenerative therapies may rescue the central nervous system following ischemic stroke. Mesenchymal stem cells exhibit promising regenerative capacity in in vitro studies but display little to no incorporation in host tissue after transplantation in in vivo models of stroke. Despite these limitations, clinical trials using mesenchymal stem cells have produced some functional benefits ascribed to their ability to modulate the host's inflammatory response coupled with their robust safety profile. Regeneration of ischemic brain tissue using stem cells, however, remains elusive in humans. Multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring (Muse) cells are a distinct subset of mesenchymal stem cells found sporadically in connective tissue of nearly every organ. Since their discovery in 2010, these endogenous reparative stem cells have been investigated for their therapeutic potential against a variety of diseases, including acute myocardial infarction, stroke, chronic kidney disease, and liver disease. Preclinical studies have exemplified Muse cells' unique ability mobilize, differentiate, and engraft into damaged host tissue. Intravenously transplanted Muse cells in mouse lacunar stroke models afforded functional recovery and long-term engraftment into the host neural network. This mini-review article highlights these biological properties that make Muse cells an exceptional candidate donor source for cell therapy in ischemic stroke. Elucidating the mechanism behind the therapeutic potential of Muse cells will undoubtedly help optimize stem cell therapy for stroke and advance the field of regenerative medicine.
- central nervous system
- regenerative medicine
- stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing