Stroke is the second most important death cause after ischemic heart disease. To this day, there is no definite treatment for brain stroke. Stroke is mostly caused by sudden occlusion of brain arteries by an embolism or a thrombosis; this will result in a decrease in brain blood flow and consequently a shortage in oxygen and glucose. Cerebral ischemia causes inflammation and oxidative stress which can result in secondary damage and an excessive amount of apoptosis that is not a direct result of the hypo-perfusion but it affects neurogenesis. Stroke leads to different pathologies and is the 6th common cause for reducing disability adjusted life years. A major factor of apoptosis initiation is the activation of caspase-3, which can trigger the apoptosis cascade. Caspases are the most important group of cytokines involved in apoptosis; and caspase-3 is the activated death protease that catalyzes the definite cleavage of many important cellular proteins. Stem cell therapy has opened a new horizon for treating neurodegenerative diseases due to regenerative capacity and anti-inflammatory effects of stem cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could be isolated from different sources such as bone marrow, adipose tissue and Wharton’s jelly. MSCs could be used in stem cell therapies because of their anti-inflammatory effects and their ability to reduce apoptosis and their role in protection against oxidative stress.