Published online Jun 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i23.3583
Revised: March 21, 2013
Accepted: April 3, 2013
Published online: June 21, 2013
AIM: To investigate the effect of bone-marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM MSCs) on the intestinal mucosa barrier in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury.
METHODS: BM MSCs were isolated from male Sprague-Dawley rats by density gradient centrifugation, cultured, and analyzed by flow cytometry. I/R injury was induced by occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery for 30 min. Rats were treated with saline, BM MSCs (via intramucosal injection) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α blocking antibodies (via the tail vein). I/R injury was assessed using transmission electron microscopy, hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, immunohistochemistry, western blotting and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: Intestinal permeability increased, tight junctions (TJs) were disrupted, and zona occludens 1 (ZO-1) was downregulated after I/R injury. BM MSCs reduced intestinal mucosal barrier destruction, ZO-1 downregulation, and TJ disruption. The morphological abnormalities after intestinal I/R injury positively correlated with serum TNF-α levels. Administration of anti-TNF-α IgG or anti-TNF-α receptor 1 antibodies attenuated the intestinal ultrastructural changes, ZO-1 downregulation, and TJ disruption.
CONCLUSION: Altered serum TNF-α levels play an important role in the ability of BM MSCs to protect against intestinal I/R injury.
Core tip: Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is clinically important. Bone-marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM MSCs) can protect against I/R injury; however, the mechanism is unclear. This study demonstrates that submucosal infusion of BM MSCs decreased intestinal permeability and preserved intestinal mechanical barrier function after I/R injury in rats, via a mechanism linked to reduced serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels and increased expression of the intestinal tight junction protein zona occludens 1. Altered serum TNF-α levels play an important role in the ability of BM MSCs to protect against intestinal I/R injury.