Stroke is a devastating neurological disorder and one of the leading causes of mortality and disability. To understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of stroke and to develop novel therapeutic approaches, two different in vitro human cell-based stroke models were established using oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) conditions. In addition, the effect of adipose stem cells (ASCs) on OGD-induced injury was studied. In the present study, SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) were differentiated into neurons, cultured under OGD conditions (1% O2) for 24 h, and subjected to a reperfusion period for 24 or 72 h. After OGD, ASCs were cocultured with neurons on inserts for 24 or 72 h to study the neuroprotective potential of ASCs. The effect of OGD and ASC coculture on the viability, apoptosis, and proliferation of and axonal damage to neuronal cells was studied. The results showed that OGD conditions induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis of SH-SY5Y- and hiPSC-derived neurons, although more severe damage was detected in SH-SY5Y-derived neurons than in hiPSC-derived neurons. Coculture with ASCs was protective for neurons, as the number of dead ASC-cocultured neurons was lower than that of control cells, and coculture increased the proliferation of both cell types. To conclude, we developed in vitro human cell-based stroke models in SH-SY5Y- and hiPSC-derived neurons. This was the first time hiPSCs were used to model stroke in vitro. Since OGD had different effects on the studied cell types, this study highlights the importance of using several cell types in in vitro studies to confirm the outcomes of the study. Here, ASCs exerted a neuroprotective effect by increasing the proliferation and decreasing the death of SH-SY5Y- and hiPSC-derived neurons after OGD.
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