The spleen — not the brain — may be the key target in successful cell therapy after a stroke, according to a study in mice presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.
After a stroke, the spleen seems to contribute to ongoing inflammation and brain damage.
Researchers compared the outcome of stroke and cell therapy with autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells in mice with intact spleens and those with spleens removed two weeks before an experimentally induced stroke. After stroke, the size of brain injury was smaller and neurological problems were less severe in mice without spleens. MNCs treatment improved functional recovery in mice with spleens but was no better than a placebo in mice without spleens.