Effects of human mesenchymal stem cells on airway inflammation in allergic asthma mice and the underlying mechanism

Publication Type:
Journal Article
National Medical Journal of China, 2017, 97 (34), pp. 2697 - 2702
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Objectives To investigate the effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) on airway inflammation in an ovalbumin (OVA) induced asthma mouse model and the underlying mechanism. Methods Twenty-four HALB/c mice were randomly divided into four equal groups: normal control group, OVA-induced asthmatic model group, hUC-MSCs treated group (50 jxl of hUC-MSCs was transplanted into the trachea of asthmatic mice ) and hUC-MSCs control group (50 p.1 of hUC-MSCs was transplanted into the trachea of control mice). Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord of healthy new born babies were used as the source of hUC-MSCs for this study. The asthmatic conditions of the airways and the lungs were assessed by examining: ( 1 ) histopatliological changes of the airways and the lungs; (2) expression of cytokines IL-6 and TGF-(3 mRNA by real-time PCR; (3) total leukocytes and mast cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALK) and number of IL-17 -expressing cm cells (Thl7 cells) in the lung (issue using flow cytometry. Results Typical histopathologic^! changes of asthma were confirmed in the asthmatic model group. These changes included intensive inflammatory cell infiltration around the airways and patchy airway occlusion by hyperviseous mucus. The number of total leukocytes and mast cells in BALF were significantly increased in the asthmatic mice when compared with the control group <0. 05 ). Mice in the asthmatic model group had significantly higher percentage of Thl7 cells in lung tissues when compared with the control group (2.90% vs 0. 76% , P <0. 05). In contrast, in the asthmatic mice treated with hUC-MSCs, the inflammatory cell infiltration was significantly reduced compared with asthmatic mice, as observed by significantly lower leukocytes and mast cell∗ in BALK {!'< 0. 05) and significant reduction in the percentage ofThl7 cells in the lung of'OY: A-challenged mice following hiC-MSCs treatment {percentage of Thl7 cells; 0. 24% vs 2. 90% , P<0.05). The expression of mRNA for II.-6 and TOK-p was significantly suppressed in the hlJC-MSCs treatment group (0. 23 vs 2. 30 and 0. 56 vs 6. 60, both /'<0. 01 ). No asthmatic pathological changes in both normal and hUC-MSCs control groups were observed. Conclusions hUC-MSCs significantly inhibit the airway inflammation in OVA-induced asthmatic mice. This inhibition is associated with the suppression of Thl7 cells and the down-regulation of inflammatory factors such as IL-6 and TGF-p in the lungs.
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