Human Neural Stem Cell Extracellular Vesicles Improve Tissue and Functional Recovery in the Murine Thromboembolic Stroke Model

Robin L Webb1,2, Erin E Kaiser 2*, Shelley L Scoville 1, Tyler A Thompson 1, Sumbul Fatima3, Chirayukumar Pandya3, Chirayukumar Pandya3, Karishma Sriram2, Raymond L Swetenburg 1, Kumar Vaibhav3, Ali S Arbab4, Babak Baban5, Krishnan M Dhandapani6, David C Hess 7, MN Hoda3, Steven Stice1,2

1 Aruna Biomedical, Athens, GA 30602, USA 2 Regenerative Bioscience Center, Rhodes Center for Animal and Dairy Science, Bioscience, University of Georgia, Athens GA 30602, USA 3 Department of Medical Laboratory, Imaging and Radiologic Sciences, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912 4 Cancer Center, Augusta University, Augusta GA 30912, USA 5 Department of Oral Biology, Dental College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta GA 30912, USA 6 Department of Neurosurgery, Augusta University, Augusta GA 30912, USA 7 Department of Neurology, Augusta University, Augusta GA 30912, USA

Over 700 drugs have failed in stroke clinical trials, an unprecendented rate thought to be attributed in part to limited and isolated testing often solely in "young" rodent models and focusing on a single secondary injury mechanism. Here, extracellular vesicles (EVs), nanometer-sized signaling particles, were tested in a mouse thromboembolic (TE) stroke model. Neural stem sell (NSC) and mesachysmal stem cell (MSC) EVs derived from the same pluripotent stem cell (PSC) line were evaluated for changes in infarct volume as well as sensorimotor function. NSC EVs improved cellular, tissue and functional outcomes in middle-aged rodents, whereas MSC EVs were less effective. Acute differences in lesion volume following NSC EV treatment were corroborated by MRI in 18-month-old aged rodents. NSC EV treatment has a positive effect on motor function in the aged rodent as indicated by beam walk, instances of foot faults, and strength evaluated by handing wire test. Increased time with a novel object also indicated that NSC EVs improved episodic memory formation in the rodent. The therapeutic effect of NSC EVs appears to be medicated by altering the systemic immune response. These data strongly support further preclinical development o fa NSC EV-based stroke therapy and warrant their testing in combination with FDA-approved stroke therapies.


Label-Free Characterization of Emerging Human Neuronal Networks

Mustafa Mir1, Taewoo Kim1, Anirban Majumder2, Mike Xiang1, Ru Wang1, S. Chris Liu3, Martha U. Gillette3, Steven Stice2 & Gabriel Popescu1

1 Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA, 2 Regenerative Bioscience, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA, 3 Neuroscience Program and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

The emergent self-organization of a neuronal network in a developing nervous system is the result of a remarkably orchestrated process involving a multitude of chemical, mechanical and electrical signals. Little is known about the dynamic behavior of a developing network (especially in a human model) primarily due to a lack of practical and non-invasive methods to measure and quantify the process. Here we demonstrate that by using a novel optical interferometric technique, we can non-invasively measure several fundamental properties of neural networks from the sub-cellular to the cell population level. We applied this method to quantify network formation in human stem cell derived neurons and show for the first time, correlations between trends in the growth, transport, and spatial organization of such a system. Quantifying the fundamental behavior of such cell lines without compromising their viability may provide an important new tool in future longitudinal studies.