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Open Access Multiple Intravenous Transplantations of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Effectively Restore Long-Term Blood Glucose Homeostasis by Hepatic Engraftment and β-Cell Differentiation in Streptozocin-Induced Diabetic Mice

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Depletion of pancreatic β-cells results in insulin insufficiency and diabetes mellitus (DM). Single transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells exhibits short-term effects in some preclinical studies. Here, we further investigated the long-term therapeutic effects of multiple intravenous MSC transplantations. In this study, multiple human MSC transplantations (4.2 × 107 cells/kg each time) were performed intravenously at 2-week intervals into streptozocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice for 6 months. Blood sugar, insulin, renal function, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were monitored. We demonstrated that compared to single intravenous transplantation, which only transiently decreased hyperglycemia, multiple MSC transplantations effectively restored blood glucose homeostasis. Systemic oxidative stress levels were reduced from the seventh week of treatment. From the 11th week, production of human insulin was markedly increased. When MSC transplantation was skipped after blood sugar level returned to normal at the end of 15th week, a sharp rebound of blood sugar occurred, and was then controlled by subsequent transplantations. At the end of 6 months, histopathology examination revealed MSCs specifically engrafted into liver tissues of the recipients. Fifty-one percent of human cells in the recipient liver coexpressed human insulin, especially those surrounding the central veins. Taken together, intravenous MSC delivery was safe and effective for blood glucose stabilization in this preclinical DM model. Multiple transplantations were essential to restore and maintain glucose homeostasis through decreasing systemic oxidative stress in the early stage and insulin production in the late stage. Liver engraftment and differentiation into insulin-producing cells account for the long-term therapeutic effects of MSCs.

Keywords: Blood glucose homeostasis; Liver engraftment; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Multiple intravenous transplantations; β-Cell depletion

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: May 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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