Choroid plexus tissue has innate roles in developing and protecting the brain and when additional tissue is transplanted into an animal model of stroke, it reduces stroke size by about 65 percent, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.
"What we have seen is the reduction of the size of the stroke in the brain, and the animals that received the transplant showed functional recovery in motor as well as neurological function," said Dr. Cesario V. Borlongan, MCG neuroscientist and first author on the paper.
The study is an important step in moving the potential treatment to clinical trials because the porcine choroid plexus tissue also could be used in humans, Dr. Borlongan said. The cells of the pig choroid plexus are similar in size and function to human cells and pig brain tissue has been used in humans to treat Parkinson's disease.
For the study, researchers put the pig tissue into biocompatible microcapsules before transplanting them into the rat stroke model. To objectively assess its effectiveness, they compared the results to an empty capsule as well as choroid plexus tissue without the capsule and no treatment.
"We have seen in this study that choroid plexus alone, without any capsule, also can reduce stroke damage," said Dr. Borlongan. But they also found increased inflammation when the capsules designed by LCTBioPharma, Inc., in Providence, R.I., a subsidiary of Living Cell Technologies based in New Zealand and Australia were not used.
The capsules are designed to allow molecules, such as protective neurotrophic factors, to escape and keep out inflammatory factors that could trigger an immune response and rejection. And they could one day hold more than choroid plexus.
Contact: Toni Baker
Medical College of Georgia