Islet dysfunction and destruction are the common cause for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The islets of Langerhans are highly vascularized miniorgans, and preserving the structural integrity and full function of the microvascular endothelium is vital for protecting the islets from the infiltration of immune cells and secondary inflammatory attack. Mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-based therapies have been proven to promote angiogenesis of the islets; however, the underlying mechanism for the protective role of MSCs in the islet endothelium is still vague. In this study, we used MS-1, a murine islet microvascular endothelium cell line, and an MSC-MS1 transwell culturing system to investigate the protective mechanism of rat bone marrow-derived MSCs under oxidative stress in vitro. Cell apoptosis was detected by TUNEL staining, annexin V/PI flow cytometry analysis, and cleaved caspase 3 western blotting analysis. Endothelial cell activation was determined by expression of intercellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM) and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM), as well as eNOS phosphorylation/activation. The changes of VCAM-1, eNOS, and the β-catenin expression were also tested in the isolated islets of T2DM rats infused with MSCs. We observed that treating MS-1 cells with H Our observations provide evidence that the orchestration of the MSC-secreted Wnts could promote the survival and improve the endothelial function of the injured islet endothelium via activating the β-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling in target endothelial cells. This finding might inspire further in-vivo studies.
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