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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4364302, 11 pages
Research Article

Optogenetic Inhibition of Striatal Neuronal Activity Improves the Survival of Transplanted Neural Stem Cells and Neurological Outcomes after Ischemic Stroke in Mice

1Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research Center, Med-X Research Institute and School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
2Department of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
3Department of Human Anatomy, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510182, China
4Brain Science and Technology Research Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Guo-Yuan Yang and Yongting Wang

Received 27 March 2017; Revised 25 June 2017; Accepted 18 July 2017; Published 14 September 2017

Academic Editor: Hailiang Tang

Copyright © 2017 Yifan Lu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is a promising treatment to improve the recovery after brain ischemia. However, how the survival, proliferation, migration, and differentiation of implanted NSC are influenced by endogenous neuronal activity remains unclear. In this work, we used optogenetic techniques to control the activity of striatal neurons and investigated how their activity affected the survival and migration of transplanted NSCs and overall neurological outcome after ischemic stroke. NSCs cultured from transgenic mice expressing fluorescent protein were transplanted into the peri-infarct region of the striatum after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) surgery. The striatal neurons were excited or inhibited for 15 minutes daily via implanted optical fiber after tMCAO. The results revealed that mice which received NSC transplantation and optogenetic inhibition had smaller brain infarct volume and increased NSC migration compared to the NSC alone or PBS group (). In contrast, mice which received NSC transplantation and optogenetic excitation showed no difference in infarct volume and neurological behavior improvement compared to the PBS control group. In vitro experiments further revealed that the conditioned media from excited GABAergic neurons reduced NSC viability through paracrine mechanisms. Conclusion. Optogenetic inhibition of striatal neuronal activity further improved neurological recovery after NSC transplantation at the subacute phase after brain ischemia.