Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in Stroke: A Systematic Review of Literature in Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Systematic Review)

Exogenous stem cell therapy (SCT) has been recognized recently as a promising neuroregenerative strategy to augment recovery in stroke survivors. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the primary source of stem cells used in the majority of both pre-clinical and clinical studies in stroke. In the absence of evidence-based guidelines on the use of SCT in stroke patients, understanding the progress of MSC research across published studies will assist researchers and clinicians in better achieving success in translating research. We conducted a systematic review on published literature using MSCs in both pre-clinical studies and clinical trials between 2008 and 2017 using the public databases PubMed and Ovid Medline, and the clinical trial registry ( ). A total of 78 pre-clinical studies and eight clinical studies were identified. While majority of the pre-clinical and clinical studies demonstrated statistically significant effects, the clinical significance of these findings was still unclear. Effect sizes could not be measured mainly due to reporting issues in pre-clinical studies, thus limiting our ability to compare results across studies quantitatively. The overall quality of both pre-clinical and clinical studies was sub-optimal. By conducting a systematic review of both pre-clinical and clinical studies on MSCs therapy in stroke, we assessed the quality of current evidence and identified several issues and gaps in translating animal studies to human trials. Addressing these issues and incorporating changes into future animal studies and human trials may lead to better success of stem cells-based therapeutics in the near future.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zheng, H; Zhang, B; Chhatbar, PY; Dong, Y; Alawieh, A; Lowe, F; Hu, X; Feng, W

Published Date

  • December 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1723 - 1730

PubMed ID

  • 30343609

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6300779

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1555-3892

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0963689718806846


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States