© 2016 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Objective We aimed to observe the change of mitochondrial function and structure as well as the cell function induced by hypoxia in mouse trophoblasts, and moreover, to validate the restoration of these changes after co-culture with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hereinafter referred to as "MSCs"). Further, we explored the mechanism of MSCs attenuating the functional damage of trophoblasts caused by hypoxia. Methods Cells were divided into two groups, trophoblasts and MSCs+trophoblasts respectively, and the two groups of cells were incubated with normoxia or hypoxia. Chemiluminescence was used to assay the β-HCG and progesterone in cell culture supernatants quantitatively. Western blotting and PCR were applied to detect the expression of Mfn2, MMP-2, MMP-9 and integrin β1 in the two groups. The mitochondrial membrane potential of each group of cells was detected with JC-1 dye and the ATP content was measured by the phosphomolybdic acid colorimetric method. We utilized transmission electron microscopy for observing the ultrastructure of mitochondria in trophoblasts. Finally, we assessed the cell apoptosis with flow cytometry (FCM) and analyzed the expression of the apoptosis related genes - Bcl-2, Bax, Caspase3 and Caspase9 by western blotting. Results The results showed that the Mfn2 expression was reduced after 4 h in hypoxia compared with that in normoxia, but increased in the co-culture group when compared with that in the separated-culture group (p<0.05). In addition, compared with the separated-culture group, theβ-HCG and progesterone levels in the co-culture group were significantly enhanced (p<0.05), and so were the expressions of MMP-2, MMP-9 and integrin β1 (p<0.05). Moreover, it exhibited significantly higher in ATP levels and intensified about the mitochondrial membrane potential in the co-culture group. TEM revealed disorders of the mitochondrial cristae and presented short rod-like structure and spheroids in hypoxia, however, in the coculture group, the mitochondrial cristae had a relatively regular arrangement and the mitochondrial ultrastructure showed hyperfusion. The expression of Bax, Caspase3 and Caspase9 was decreased in the co-culture group when compared with that in trophoblast cells cultured alone (p<0.05), while the Bcl-2 levels and the Apoptosis Index (AI) were markedly increased in the co-culture group (p<0.05). Conclusion Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells can attenuate mitochondria damage and cell apoptosis induced by hypoxia; the mechanism could be upregulating the expression of Mfn2 in mouse trophoblasts and changing mitochondrial structure.
Wang, L., Xu, X., Kang, L., & Xiang, W. (2016). Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells attenuate mitochondria damage induced by hypoxia in mouse trophoblasts. PLoS ONE, 11(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0153729