Triptolide improves early survival of mesenchymal stem cells transplanted into rat myocardium.

PMID 24557329


To investigate whether triptolide can prolong the survival of rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transfected with the mouse hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 4 (mHCN4) gene in the myocardium. Grafted cell survival was determined using a sex-mismatched cell transplantation model and analysis of Y chromosome-specific Sry gene expression from hearts harvested at different time points after cell transplantation. ELISA and RT-PCR were used to measure protein and mRNA levels, respectively, of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Donor cell numbers decreased over time. Pretreatment with triptolide improved graft survival both 24 (29.3 ± 0.9%) and 72 h (17.5 ± 1.2%) after transplantation of MSCs and resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in the total cell number 72 h after cell transplantation. The mRNA expression and protein content of NF-κB, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α were significantly reduced in the triptolide-treated group compared with the control groups. In addition, triptolide downregulated Bax but upregulated Bcl-2 in the injected region. Transient treatment with triptolide may significantly improve the early survival of MSCs in vivo. The mechanism underlying this effect involves attenuating the inflammatory response via inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway.