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Transplantation of oral mucosal epithelial cells seeded on decellularized and lyophilized amniotic membrane for the regeneration of injured endometrium

Xing Chen, Jingtao Sun, Xiaoyu Li, Lele Mao, Lei Cui, Wenpei Bai
Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2019 March 21, 10 (1): 107

BACKGROUND: Intrauterine adhesion (IUA) is characterized by progressive intrauterine fibrosis as a consequence of trauma to the basal layer of the endometrium. In an attempt to relieve IUA, many approaches have been applied in the clinic but show limited effects. In this study, we investigated the effect of autologous oral mucosal epithelial cells (OMECs) seeded on decellularized and lyophilized amniotic membrane (DL-AM) on preventing the development of IUA in a rat model.

METHODS: IUA model was established by surgical scraping of the endometrium in the left uteri (the right uteri were kept as control) of SD rats. Wounds were randomly treated as unrepaired (IUA group), repaired with DL-AM alone (DL-AM group), and DL-AM seeded with autologous OMECs (DL-AM+OMECs group), respectively, in a total of 54 rats (n = 18 each). Uterus samples were harvested for histological and immunohistochemical evaluation after 3, 7, 14, and 28 days (n = 3 in each time point) of operations.

RESULTS: After surgery, the uterine cavity was observed to be filled with extensive fibrosis in the IUA and DL-AM groups, respectively, while a lower ratio of the fibrotic area was identified in the DL-AM transplantation group. Transplantation of OMECs seeded on DL-AM significantly reduced fibrosis of IUA with recovered uterine cavity and regenerated epithelium and endometrial glands as determined by CK-18 immunostaining. OMECs transplantation resulted in extensive cellular proliferation as revealed by the Ki-67 immunofluorescent staining exhibited. Meanwhile, microvessel density was significantly increased in uteri that received OMECs transplantation, which was concomitant with elevated expression of vascular endothelial growth factor. The pregnancy test (n = 6 in each group) showed successful conception in the OMEC-transplanted uteri, but not in the IUA and DL-AM groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Engineered epithelium developed from DL-AM seeded with OMECs showed great potential in preventing progression of intrauterine adhesion by improved endometrial epithelium regeneration.


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