American journal of physiology. Renal physiology

Effect of preemptive treatment with human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells on the development of renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice.

PMID 25143451


Human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (HUCB-MSCs) have been studied in several models of immune-mediated disease because of their unique immunomodulatory properties. We hypothesized that HUCB-MSCs could suppress the inflammatory response in postischemic kidneys and attenuate early renal injury. In 8- to 10-wk-old male C57BL/6 mice, bilateral ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) surgery was performed, and 1 × 10(6) HUCB-MSCs were injected intraperitoneally 24 h before surgery and during reperfusion. Renal functional and histological changes, HUCB-MSC trafficking, leukocyte infiltration, and cytokine expression were analyzed. Renal functional decline and tubular injury after IRI were attenuated by HUCB-MSC treatment. PKH-26-labeled HUCB-MSCs trafficked into the postischemic kidney. Although numbers of CD45-positive leukocytes in the postischemic kidney were comparable between groups, the expression of interferon-γ in the postischemic kidney was suppressed by HUCB-MSC treatment. The rapid decrease in intrarenal VEGF after IRI was markedly mitigated by HUCB-MSC treatment. In inflammatory conditions simulated in a cell culture experiment, VEGF secretion from HUCB-MSCs was substantially enhanced. VEGF inhibitor abolished the renoprotective effect of HUCB-MSCs after IRI. Flow cytometry analysis revealed the decreased infiltration of natural killer T cells and increased number of regulatory T cells in postischemic kidneys. In addition, these effects of HUCB-MSCs on kidney infiltrating mononuclear cells after IRI were attenuated by VEGF inhibitor. HUCB-MSCs attenuated renal injury in mice in the early injury phase after IRI, mainly by humoral effects and secretion of VEGF. Our results suggest a promising role for HUCB-MSCs in the treatment of renal IRI.