Intravenous xenogeneic human cardiosphere-derived cell extracellular vesicles (exosomes) improves behavioral function in small-clot embolized rabbits

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Abstract

Acute ischemic stroke is devastating to patients and their families because of few viable therapeutic options to promote recovery after reperfusion windows close. Recent breakthroughs in biotechnology have resulted in a reproducible patented process for the purification of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from human cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs). Because CDC-EVs have many features potentially beneficial to treat acute ischemic stroke, CDC-EVs were evaluated in an established small-clot rabbit embolic stroke model, where clinically relevant end points were used to assess recovery in a more translational large animal model. Biodistribution studies with fluorescent DiD-labeled CDC-EVs showed intense uptake in the ischemic region of the brain. In this report, we show that intravenous (IV) CDC-EVs (0.75 mg/kg) administered 1-hour post-embolization significantly attenuate behavioral deficits following an embolic stroke in rabbits. In CDC-EV-treated rabbits, P50 (3.63 ± 1.27 mg, n = 24) was increased by 245% over vehicle control (1.05 ± 0.15 mg, n = 24); by comparison, rt-PA increased P50 by 91% (2.01 ± 0.24 mg, n = 23). Importantly, the therapy was also without adverse effects on intracerebral hemorrhage or survival rate of embolized rabbits. Thus, as a first step toward widespread use, CDC-EVs, given adjunctively to routine reperfusion therapy, merit further investigation as a therapeutic candidate for stroke

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