Combined endovascular coiling and intra-aneurysmal allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cell therapy for intracranial aneurysms in a rabbit model: a proof-of-concept study

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Abstract

Objective

To assess the feasibility and efficacy of clinically translatable adjuvant mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) therapy in improving the healing of coiled aneurysms in a rabbit elastase aneurysm model.

Methods

Bone marrow-derived MSC populations were isolated from three rabbit donors in a serum-free environment and independently characterized to confirm their identity. Elastase-induced carotid aneurysms were created in nine New Zealand white rabbits. Each animal received one of the following treatments based on previous randomization: (1) coiling alone (control group); (2) coiling with an intra-aneurysmal injection of saline (vehicle group); and (3) coiling with an intra-aneurysmal injection of 5 million allogeneic MSCs (treatment group). The animals were followed for 4 weeks post-treatment, at the end of which blinded analyses of angiograms and histology were performed.

Results

Histological results in the treatment group showed improvements over the control and vehicle groups, although the improvement over the vehicle group was not significant. Intra-aneurysmal cell therapy with 5 million allogeneic MSCs did not result in any major adverse events. Angiographic results did not show any significant difference among groups.

Conclusions

This proof-of-concept study shows that adjuvant MSC therapy for intracranial aneurysms is feasible and may enhance histological improvement of coiled aneurysms at 4 weeks post-treatment.

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