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JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGICAL SCIENCES

A Journal on Neurosurgery


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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2017 June;61(3):291-302

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.16.03921-7

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Stem cell therapy for sequestering neuroinflammation in traumatic brain injury: an update on exosome-targeting to the spleen

Marci G., CROWLEY, Michael G. LISKA, Cesar V. BORLONGAN

Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL, USA


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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) manifests with acute and chronic cell death pathways leading to initial impacted injury and subsequent neurodegeneration. In particular, the secondary cell death, plagued by a massive and lingering neuroinflammatory response, contributes significantly to worsening outcomes of the progressive TBI pathology. Fortunately, neuroinflammation also provides an opportunity for therapeutic interventions. Limited treatment options currently exist for the disease, but stem cell-based therapies offer promise in promoting neuroprotection and neuroregeneration by mitigating central neuroinflammation as well as modulating peripheral inflammation via the spleen. Indeed, peripherally administered stem cells preferentially migrate to the spleen when injected after a neurovascular injury, advancing the concept that stem cells are inflammation-homing “biologics” and afford their neuroprotection primarily by abrogating the systemic inflammatory response. Accumulating preclinical evidence has revealed new insights on the systemic inflammation as a pathological culprit, but also arguably as a therapeutic target for stem cell therapies as a treatment for TBI and relevant neurovascular diseases. Here, we provide an update on recent scientific evidence supporting the stem cells’ novel mechanism of sequestering the inflammation-mediated secondary cell death that closely accompanies the evolution of TBI pathology.


KEY WORDS: Stem cells - Brain injuries - Neurodegenerative diseases - Spleen - Regenerative medicine

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Publication History

Issue published online: March 29, 2017
Article first published online: November 30, 2016

Cite this article as

Crowley MG, Liska MG, Borlongan CV. Stem cell therapy for sequestering neuroinflammation in traumatic brain injury: an update on exosome-targeting to the spleen. J Neurosurg Sci 2017;61:291-302. DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.16.03921-7

Corresponding author e-mail

cborlong@health.usf.edu