Researchers explore new way to tackle stroke

07 March 2018
Researchers from Monash and La Trobe Universities have investigated whether human amnion epithelial cells could be used as a therapy after a stroke.

Stroke is the second biggest killer and a leading cause of disability in Australia and has a high impact on the economy.

The seven-year research project led by La Trobe’s Professor Chris Sobey and with researchers from Monash University and Monash Health focused on the use of human amnion epithelial cells -  cells that line the human amniotic sac during pregnancy. 

These human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) are of interest to researchers as possible candidates for cellular therapies as they appear to be non-immunogenic, non-tumorigenic and display anti-inflammatory properties. 

In this study, researchers used animal models to explore whether hAECs were able to help recovery after cerebral ischemia. Results indicated that the cells may facilitate recovery and repair with the brain tissue in some animals showing a reduction in inflammation and cell death. 

The research team is looking to commence human clinical trials in acute stroke patients to assess its feasibility and safety profile.

The research was part-funded by the Heart Foundation, CASS Foundation and National Health and Medical Research Council.