Stroke is the leading cause of disability and there are no proven therapies beyond the acute stage. Based on extensive animal data, there is mounting evidence that various types of cell therapies enhance recovery after stroke. We review intravenous delivery of cell therapies in animal studies and clinical trials. The intravenous delivery of various cell types has been reported to activate several different signaling mechanisms such as neuroprotective, immunomodulatory, and repair-enhancing processes in the brain. It has also been shown that although peripherally injected stem cells get trapped in the pulmonary circulation, they secrete paracrine factors and exert a profound effect on neural recovery in animal models. MSCs are also thought to interact within the reticuloendothelial system by inducing or inhibiting migration of different immune cells. This chapter also identifies major issues that need to be addressed going forward including optimal cell types of cells, patient populations, and time windows.
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