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Stem Cell-Derived EV Protects the Irradiated Brain

Cranial radiation therapy as a treatment of brain cancers can lead to adverse impacts on cognitive function; however, previous studies from the laboratory of Charles L. Limoli (University of California, Irvine, USA) discovered that human neural stem cells (hNSCs) can provide beneficial neurocognitive effects in the irradiated brain. Now, in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study, Smith et al. revealed that hNSCs and hNSC‐derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) act in a comparable manner to preserve host neuronal morphology, reduce inflammation, and restore neurotrophic factors in the irradiated brain. Overall, this new study provides evidence for “potent far‐reaching neuroprotective effects mediated by grafted stem cells or EVs adjacent and distal to the site of transplantation and support their potential as therapeutic agents to counteract the adverse effects of cranial irradiation”.