Mesenchymal stem cells decrease blood–brain barrier permeability in rats with severe acute pancreatitis

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Background: Impairment of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) could result in secondary cerebral edema and life-threatening pancreatic encephalopathy in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely adopted in clinical research because of their pleiotropic functions. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of MSCs on BBB permeability in SAP and the potential mechanisms driving these effects. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to the control, SAP and SAP+MSCs groups. Pancreatic impairment was assessed. The serum levels of amylase, TNF-α and IL-10, expression levels of claudin-5, Bax, Bcl-2 and MMP-9, and the BBB permeability were measured. Endothelial cell apoptosis was evaluated. Results: SAP rats showed BBB impairment with increased permeability and secondary cerebral edema, which was confirmed using the Evans blue assay and the calculation of the brain dry/wet ratio. Treatment with MSCs decreased the serum levels of amylase and TNF-α, increased the serum levels of IL-10, attenuated the apoptosis of brain microvascular endothelial cells, upregulated claudin-5 expression and downregulated MMP-9 expression. This treatment attenuated the increased BBB permeability in SAP rats. Conclusions: MSCs attenuated the impairment of the BBB and decreased its permeability, producing protective effects in SAP rats.




Lin, R., Li, M., Luo, M., Teng, T., Pan, Y., & Huang, H. (2019). Mesenchymal stem cells decrease blood–brain barrier permeability in rats with severe acute pancreatitis. Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters, 24(1).

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