BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE-: The harsh host brain microenvironment caused by production of reactive oxygen species after ischemic reperfusion injury offers a significant challenge to survival of transplanted neural stem cells (NSCs) after ischemic stroke. Copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is a specific antioxidant enzyme that counteracts superoxide anions. We have investigated whether genetic manipulation to overexpress SOD1 enhances survival of grafted stem cells and accelerates amelioration of ischemic stroke. METHODS-: NSCs genetically modified to overexpress or downexpress SOD1 were administered intracerebrally 2 days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Histological and behavioral tests were examined from Days 0 to 28 after stroke. RESULTS-: Overexpression of SOD1 suppressed production of superoxide anions after ischemic reperfusion injury and reduced NSC death after transplantation. In contrast, downexpression of SOD1 promoted superoxide generation and increased oxidative stress-mediated NSC death. Transplantation of SOD1-overexpressing NSCs enhanced angiogenesis in the ischemic border zone through upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor. Moreover, grafted SOD1-overexpressing NSCs reduced infarct size and improved behavioral performance compared with NSCs that were not genetically modified. CONCLUSIONS-: Our findings reveal a strong involvement of SOD1 expression in NSC survival after ischemic reperfusion injury. We propose that conferring antioxidant properties on NSCs by genetic manipulation of SOD1 is a potential approach for enhancing the effectiveness of cell transplantation therapy in ischemic stroke.
- copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase
- ischemic stroke
- neural stem cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing