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Experimental neurology


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Diabetes elevates the risk of stroke, promotes inflammation, and exacerbates vascular and white matter damage post stroke, thereby hindering long term functional recovery. Here, we investigated the neurorestorative effects and the underlying therapeutic mechanisms of treatment of stroke in type 2 diabetic rats (T2DM) using exosomes harvested from bone marrow stromal cells obtained from T2DM rats (T2DM-MSC-Exo).

METHODS: T2DM was induced in adult male Wistar rats using a combination of high fat diet and Streptozotocin. Rats were subjected to transient 2 h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) and 3 days later randomized to one of the following treatment groups: 1) phosphate-buffered-saline (PBS, i.v), 2) T2DM-MSC-Exo, (3 × 10(11), i.v), 3) T2DM-MSC-Exo with miR-9 over expression (miR9+/+-T2DM-MSC-Exo, 3 × 10(11), i.v) or 4) MSC-Exo derived from normoglycemic rats (Nor-MSC-Exo) (3 × 10(11), i.v). T2DM sham control group is included as reference. Rats were sacrificed 28 days after MCAo.

RESULTS: T2DM-MSC-Exo treatment does not alter blood glucose, lipid levels, or lesion volume, but significantly improves neurological function and attenuates post-stroke weight loss compared to PBS treated as well as Nor-MSC-Exo treated T2DM-stroke rats. Compared to PBS treatment, T2DM-MSC-Exo treatment of T2DM-stroke rats significantly 1) increases tight junction protein ZO-1 and improves blood brain barrier (BBB) integrity; 2) promotes white matter remodeling indicated by increased axon and myelin density, and increases oligodendrocytes and oligodendrocyte progenitor cell numbers in the ischemic border zone as well as increases primary cortical neuronal axonal outgrowth; 3) decreases activated microglia, M1 macrophages, and inflammatory factors MMP-9 (matrix mettaloproteinase-9) and MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) expression in the ischemic brain; and 4) decreases miR-9 expression in serum, and increases miR-9 target ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette transporter 1) and IGFR1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor) expression in the brain. MiR9+/+-T2DM-MSC-Exo treatment significantly increases serum miR-9 expression compared to PBS treated and T2DM-MSC-Exo treated T2DM stroke rats. Treatment of T2DM stroke with miR9+/+-T2DM-MSC-Exo fails to improve functional outcome and attenuates T2DM-MSC-Exo treatment induced white matter remodeling and anti-inflammatory effects in T2DM stroke rats.

CONCLUSIONS: T2DM-MSC-Exo treatment for stroke in T2DM rats promotes neurorestorative effects and improves functional outcome. Down regulation of miR-9 expression and increasing its target ABCA1 pathway may contribute partially to T2DM-MSC-Exo treatment induced white matter remodeling and anti-inflammatory responses.

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