Original Article

Human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cell transplantation suppresses inflammatory responses and neuronal apoptosis during early stage of focal cerebral ischemia in rabbits

Authors: Yao Zhu, Ye-ming Guan, Hai-li Huang, Qing-song Wang
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2014.9

Abstract

Yao ZHU1, 2, Ye-ming GUAN1, Hai-li HUANG1, Qing-song WANG1, 2, *
1Departments of Neurology, The 105th Hospital of PLA, Hefei 230031, China; 2Clinic College, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China

Aim: Human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) have been shown to ameliorate cerebral ischemia in animal models. In this study we investigated the effects of hUCB-MSCs on inflammatory responses and neuronal apoptosis during the early stage of focal cerebral ischemia in rabbits.

Methods: Focal cerebral ischemia was induced in male New Zealand rabbits by occlusion of MCA for 2 h. The blood samples were collected at different time points prior and during MCAO-reperfusion. The animals were euthanized 3 d after MCAO, and the protein levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α in the serum and peri-ischemic brain tissues were detected using Western blot and ELISA, respectively. Inflammatory cell infiltration, neuronal apoptosis and neuronal density were measured morphologically. hUCB-MSCs (5×106) were iv injected a few minutes after MCAO.

Results: The serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were rapidly increased, and peaked at 2 h after the start of MCAO. hUCB-MSC transplantation markedly and progressively suppressed the ischemia-induced increases of serum IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α levels within 6 h MCAO-reperfusion. Focal cerebral ischemia decreased the serum level of IL-10, which was prevented by hUCB-MSC transplantation. The expression of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α in the peri-ischemic brain tissues showed similar changes as in the serum. hUCB-MSC transplantation markedly suppressed the infiltration of inflammatory cells, and increased the neuronal density around the ischemic region. Furthermore, hUCB-MSC transplantation significantly decreased the percentage of apoptosis around the ischemic region.

Conclusion: hUCB-MSCs transplantation suppresses inflammatory responses and neuronal apoptosis during the early stage focal cerebral ischemia in rabbits.

Keywords: stroke; focal cerebral ischemia; human umbilical cord blood; mesenchymal stem cell; transplantation; apoptosis; inflammation; cytokine

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81171108) to Dr Qing-song WANG.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail wangqs65@yahoo.com
Received 2013-07-13 Accepted 2014-02-12
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