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Mesenchymal stem cells alleviate atherosclerosis by elevating number and function of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T-cells and inhibiting macrophage foam cell formation *

Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of plaques inside arteries, leading to narrowing and blockage. Potential therapeutic strategies include expanding the population of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) to enhance atheroprotective immunity, and inhibiting the formation of macrophage foam cells. Here, we studied the effect of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) on atherosclerotic plaque formation in Apolipoprotein E−/− (ApoE-KO) mice, and elucidated the underlying mechanism. BM-MSCs isolated from 4 week-old ApoE-KO mice were evaluated by flow cytometry for expression of MSC-specific markers. Thirty eight week-old ApoE-KO mice were randomly divided into three experimental groups (n = 10 per group): 1. MSC group—received BM-MSCs intravenously; 2. Vehicle group—received DMEM; 3. Control group—did not receive any treatment. Administration of MSCs resulted in a marked decrease in the size of atherosclerotic plaques 3 months after treatment. In addition, the number and function of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in cultured splenocytes, and the expression of FOXP3 at both mRNA and protein levels, was significantly increased in the MSC group. In vitro experiments further indicated that the formation of macrophage foam cells was inhibited by treatment with MSCs, accompanied by a significant downregulation in CD36 and scavenger receptor A (SRA). Our findings suggest that MSCs play an atheroprotective role by enhancing the number and function of Tregs and inhibiting the formation of macrophage foam cells. Hence, administration of MSCs to atherosclerotic patients might have significant clinical benefits.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 05-23-2016
Authors: Zhi Xiao Wang, Chong Quan Wang, Xiao Yan Li, Gao Ke Feng, Hong Ling Zhu, Yan Ding, Xue Jun Jiang
Source: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry February 2015, Volume 400, Issue 1