Brain stroke is an acute neural disorder characterized by obstruction (ischemic) or rupture (hemorrhagic) of blood vessels causing neural damage and subsequent functional impairment. Its pathophysiology is complex and involves a multitude of pathological events including energetic collapse, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, metabolic acidosis, cell death and neuroinflammation. Despite its clinical importance, there is no effective pharmacological therapies available to diminish secondary damage avowing functional deficits. Considering the failure of pharmacological approaches for stroke, cell therapy came as promising alternative. Different cell types have been investigated in different experimental models with promising results. An important issue regarding the transplantation of stem cells into the damaged CNS tissue is how the pathological environment influences the transplanted cells. It has been established that an exacerbated inflammation in the pathological environment is detrimental to the survival of the transplanted stem cells. This prompted us to develop an experimental strategy to improve the therapeutic actions of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMCs) transplanted into the acute phase of brain stroke by modulating microglial activation with minocycline. In this chapter, we first review the basic pathophysiology of ischemic stroke with emphasis on the role of microglia to the pathological outcome. We then review the experimental approach of modulating microglia activation in order to enhance therapeutic actions of BMMCS for experimental stroke. We suggest that such an approach may be applied as an adjuvant therapy to control excessive neuroinflammation in the pathological environment allowing acute transplants and improving therapeutic actions of different kind of stem cells.
Part of the book: Macrophages