Preemptive treatment with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can attenuate cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury (AKI). However, it is uncertain whether MSC treatment after the development of renal dysfunction prevents AKI progression, or if their immunomodulatory properties contribute to MSC therapy. In this study, human umbilical cord blood (hUCB)-derived MSCs were used to compare the effects and mechanisms of early and late MSC therapy in a murine model. After cisplatin injection into C57BL/6 mice, hUCB-MSCs were administered on day 1 (early treatment) or day 3 (late treatment). With early treatment, cisplatin nephrotoxicity was attenuated as evidenced by decreased blood urea nitrogen (BUN), reduced apoptosis, and tubular injury scores on day 3. Early treatment resulted in downregulation of intrarenal MCP-1 and IL-6 expression and upregulation of IL-10 and VEGF expression. Flow cytometric analysis showed similar populations of infiltrated immune cells in both groups; however, regulatory T cell (Treg) infiltration was 2.5-fold higher in the early treatment group. The role of Tregs was confirmed by the blunted effect of early treatment on renal injury after Treg depletion. In contrast, late treatment (at a time when BUN levels were 2-fold higher than baseline levels) showed no renoprotective effects on day 6. Neither the populations of intrarenal infiltrating immune cells (including Tregs) nor cytokine expression levels were affected by late treatment. Our results suggest that early MSC treatment attenuates renal injury by Treg induction and immunomodulation, whereas late treatment (after the development of renal dysfunction) dose not prevent AKI progression or alter the intrarenal inflammatory micromilieu.
- acute kidney injury
- cisplatin nephrotoxicity
- mesenchymal stem cells
- regulatory T cells
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology