Mesenchymal stem cells from the human umbilical cord ameliorate fulminant hepatic failure and increase survival in mice

Jin-Feng Yang, Hong-Cui Cao, Qiao-Ling Pan, Jiong Yu, Jun Li, Lan-Juan Li
Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International: HBPD INT 2015, 14 (2): 186-93

BACKGROUND: Cell therapy has been promising for various diseases. We investigated whether transplantation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) has any therapeutic effects on D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide (GalN/LPS)-induced fulminant hepatic failure in mice.

METHODS: hUCMSCs isolated from human umbilical cord were cultured and transplanted via the tail vein into severe combined immune deficiency mice with GalN/LPS-induced fulminant hepatic failure. After transplantation, the localization and differentiation of hUCMSCs in the injured livers were investigated by immunohistochemical and genetic analyses. The recovery of the injured livers was evaluated histologically. The survival rate of experimental animals was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test.

RESULTS: hUCMSCs expressed high levels of CD29, CD73, CD13, CD105 and CD90, but did not express CD31, CD79b, CD133, CD34, and CD45. Cultured hUCMSCs displayed adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potential. Hematoxylin and eosin staining revealed that transplantation of hUCMSCs reduced hepatic necrosis and promoted liver regeneration. Transplantation of hUCMSCs prolonged the survival rate of mice with fulminant hepatic failure. Polymerase chain reaction for human alu sequences showed the presence of human cells in mouse livers. Positive staining for human albumin, human alpha-fetoprotein and human cytokeratin 18 suggested the formation of hUCMSCs-derived hepatocyte-like cells in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS: hUCMSC was a potential candidate for stem cell based therapies. After transplantation, hUCMSCs partially repaired hepatic damage induced by GalN/LPS in mice. hUCMSCs engrafted into the injured liver and differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells.

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