Identification of pathways in liver repair potentially targeted by secretory proteins from human mesenchymal stem cells

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© 2016 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Background: The beneficial impact of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) on both acute and chronic liver diseases has been confirmed, although the molecular mechanisms behind it remain elusive. We aim to identify factors secreted by undifferentiated and hepatocytic differentiated MSC in vitro in order to delineate liver repair pathways potentially targeted by MSC. Methods: Secreted factors were determined by protein arrays and related pathways identified by biomathematical analyses. Results: MSC from adipose tissue and bone marrow expressed a similar pattern of surface markers. After hepatocytic differentiation, CD54 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1, ICAM-1) increased and CD166 (activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule, ALCAM) decreased. MSC secreted different factors before and after differentiation. These comprised cytokines involved in innate immunity and growth factors regulating liver regeneration. Pathway analysis revealed cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions, chemokine signalling pathways, the complement and coagulation cascades as well as the Januskinase-signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK-STAT) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor (NOD-like receptor) signalling pathways as relevant networks. Relationships to transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α (HIF1-α) signalling seemed also relevant. Conclusion: MSC secreted proteins, which differed depending on cell source and degree of differentiation. The factors might address inflammatory and growth factor pathways as well as chemo-attraction and innate immunity. Since these are prone to dysregulation in most liver diseases, MSC release hepatotropic factors, potentially supporting liver regeneration.




Winkler, S., Hempel, M., Brückner, S., Tautenhahn, H. M., Kaufmann, R., & Christ, B. (2016). Identification of pathways in liver repair potentially targeted by secretory proteins from human mesenchymal stem cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(7).

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