Vein transplantation of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of hepatic fibrosis in rats

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent studies verified that other tissues-derived stem cells can be homing to the liver, possibly participate in the regeneration of liver tissues, which provides new hope for stem cells in treatment of liver disease.

OBJECTIVE:

To observe isolation and culture of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells, to observe the repairing effect of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell transplantation on hepatic fibrosis, and then to provide a reliable theoretical basis for further clinical application of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

METHODS:

Human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells were isolated and purified by natural adherent method, and then cultured and amplified in vitro. A rat model of hepatic fibrosis was prepared using subcutaneous multi-point injection of CCl4. A total of 22 rat models were randomly assigned to model injury group (n=11) and cell transplantation group (n=11). At 1, 2 and 3 weeks after model induction, the rats in the cell transplantation group were treated with 1×106 umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells via caudal vein. Four weeks later, the rats were sacrificed. Blood of rats was collected from each group to detect liver functions. The liver was removed to receive hematoxylin-eosin staining, and pathological changes were observed. The number and distribution of Kupffer's cells were observed using immunohistochemistry. The localization of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells from treatment group was observed using immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:

After umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells were infused into rats with cirrhosis via caudal vein, liver function was significantly improved, which showed significant differences as compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Hematoxylin-eosin staining revealed that hepatic fibrosis was apparently improved. Immunohistochemistry results demonstrated that the number of Kupffer's cells was obviously reduced, and BrdU-labeled umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells were visible in rat liver of the treatment group using anti-BrdU antibody. These results suggested that umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell transplantation could improve biochemical characteristics of rat peripheral blood and histological structure of liver.

Subject headings:

stem cells; umbilical cord; mesenchymal stem cells; cell transplantation; liver cirrhosis; liver transplantation

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