Influence of rat adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells on brain tissues following permanent unilateral common carotid artery occlusion in adult male albino rat: a histological and immunohistochemical study

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Worldwide, stroke is the second most common cause of mortality. Ischemic strokes, which may be induced by common carotid artery occlusion (CCAO), account for most cases. Available treatments are unsuitable for universal application to all cases because of the possibility of permanent disability. Use of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) in numerous diseases has shown promising results.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of intravenous administration of AD-MSCs on brain tissues of albino rats induced with permanent unilateral CCAO as a model of ischemic stroke.

Materials and methods

Thirty-five male albino rats were divided into three groups: the control group, the CCAO group, and the AD-MSC-treated groups. The treated group was given 1 ml of PKH26-labelled AD-MSCs suspended in PBS intravenously. All animals were sacrificed 2 weeks after AD-MSC administration, except for two rats from the treated group, which were sacrificed after 1 day. Sections from the control and treated 0groups were examined with a fluorescence microscope. Thereafter, sections from all groups were immunohistochemically stained to detect glial fibrillary acidic protein and vascular endothelial growth factor. The area percentage of positive reactions was measured and statistically analyzed.


The cerebral cortex, white matter, and hippocampus of the CCAO group showed ischemic cell death and brain edema. The treated group revealed homing of stem cells in the brain tissues 24 h after AD-MSC treatment. Moreover, nearly normal histological features were seen. Immunohistochemical study of the CCAO group revealed marked increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein and marked decrease in vascular endothelial growth factor-positive reactions compared with the treated group.


AD-MSCs administered intravenously can preserve the brain tissue structure following permanent unilateral CCAO, a model for ischemic stroke. Thus, they can be used to treat ischemic strokes.

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