To evaluate the preclinical studies using NSCs transplantation therapy for experimental ischemic stroke, and determine the effect size of NSCs therapy and the correlations between different clinical measures. We firstly searched literatures to identify studies of NSCs therapy in animal cerebral ischemia models, and then calculated the quality score of studies, assessed the effect size of NSCs therapy relative to behavioral and histologic endpoints by meta-analysis. A total of 37 studies and 54 independent treated interventions were used for systematic review and meta-analysis. The median quality score was 5 of 10. 36 studies (53 intervention arms) reported functional outcome, 22 studies (34 intervention arms) reported structural outcome. After adjusted by subgroup and sensitivity analysis, the mean effect sizes were improved by 1.35 for mNSS, 1.84 for rotarod test, 0.61 for cylinder test, and 0.84 for infarct volume. Furthermore, effect size had a certain interaction with clinical variables, for example early NSCs therapy etc. In this preclinical studies, we demonstrated that transplanted NSCs significantly improved outcomes (both functional and structural outcome) in ischemic stroke. It is suggested that future preclinical animal model studies of stroke should improve study quality validity and reduce potentially confounded publication bias.
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Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81471780).
- Preclinical research, Stem-cell research