Molecular medicine reports

Conditioned medium from umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells induces migration and angiogenesis.

PMID 25739039


Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) have been suggested as a candidate for various clinical applications, however, major limitations include the lack of organ-specific accumulation and low survival rates of transplanted cells. In the present study, it was hypothesized that the paracrine effects of UC‑MSCs may enhance stem cell-based tissue repair and regeneration by promoting the specific homing of stem/progenitor cells and the overall ability to drive them to the damaged area. UC-MSCs-derived conditioned medium (UC-CM) was analyzed using liquid chip and ELISA techniques. In vitro tube formation assays of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and UC-MSCs were then performed to assess the angiogenic properties of UC-CM. Subsequently, UC-MSCs, HUVECs and fibroblasts were labeled with PKH26 for an in vivo cell migration assay. The expression levels of C-X-C chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) and c-met were determined in the UC-MSCs, HUVECs and fibroblasts using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry. UC-CM was incubated with or without antibodies, and the contribution of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) on the migration of cells was investigated in vitro. The results demonstrated that UC-MSCs secreted different cytokines and chemokines, including increased quantities of SDF-1, MCP-1 and HGF, in addition to the angiogenic factors, vascular cell adhesion protein-1, interleukin-8, insulin-like growth factor-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor. The total lengths of the tubes were significantly increased in the UC-MSCs and HUVECs incubated in UC-CM compared with those incubated in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium. In vivo cell migration assays demonstrated that UC-CM was a chemotactic stimulus for the UC-MSCs and HUVECs. In vitro Matrigel migration and scratch healing assays demonstrated that UC-CM increased the migration of CXCR4-positive or/and CCR2-positive cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, different molecules were screened under antibody-based blocking migration conditions. The data revealed that the SDF-1/CXCR4 and MCP-1/CCR2 axes were involved in the chemoattractive activity of UC-CM and suggested that the effective paracrine factor of UC-CM is a large complex rather than a single factor. The results of the present study supported the hypothesis that UC-MSCs release soluble factors, which may extend the therapeutic applicability of stem cells.