Gait analysis in the pig ischemic stroke model to determine efficacy of iNSC therapy on motor function recovery
Nguyen, Trinh Uyen
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Most stroke survivors suffer from severe motor disabilities, including impaired manual dexterity and gait in the paretic limb. A novel stem cell therapy, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells (iNSCs), has been shown to differentiate into neural cells and integrate into the stroked brain to reduce infarct size and improve motor recovery in rodents. However, there is a need to test iNSC therapy in a gyrencephalic brain more similar in composition to that of humans, such as the pig brain. In this study, we used computer-based quantitative gait analysis to determine the efficacy of hiNSC transplantation in a pig MCAO ischemic stroke model. Pigs underwent spontaneous recovery within 12 weeks following stroke and saline injection. hiNSC-treated pigs showed less deficits in temporal gait parameters, including swing and stance time and limb support phase times, compared to vehicle-only pigs after 1 week. Together, our findings show that intraparenchymal injection has a minimal effect on motor function and that hiNSC therapy is a promising rehabilitative strategy for improved gait recovery after stroke.