Introduction: Acute tubular necrosis (ATN) is the most prevalent cause of acute renal failure (ARF). Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation has been studied as a potential treatment for renal dysfunction due to ATN. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) are surrogate markers of renal tubular epithelial regeneration and subsequent recovery of renal function following ATN. Methods: Serum creati- nine (Scr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN), as well as expression of iNOS, BMP-7 and Bcl-2 in gentamycin-induced ATN rat kidneys was inves-tigated after human umbilical cord-derived me-senchymal stem cell (HUC-MSC) transplantation. Immunohistochemical staining was performed in 3 groups of rats: gentamycin-induced ATN treated with HUC-MSC, gentamycin-induced ATN without HUC-MSC, and untreated rats not receiv-ing any treatments.
Results: HUC-MSC trans-plantation led to a reduction in Scr and BUN in the kidneys of rats with gentamycin-induced ATN. Expression of iNOS in the HUC-MSC treated group occurred later and the expression levels were much lower during gentamycin-induced ATN compared to rats with ATN that were not treated with HUC-MSC. The expression of BMP-7 and Bcl-2 in the MSC-transplanted group was significantly increased compared to both control groups of rats with injured and healthy renal tubules.
Conclusions: HUC-MSCs induce renal protection in a rat model of gentamycin-induced ATN, which is associated with reduced iNOS expression and up-regulation of Bcl-2 and BMP-7.
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