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Hypoxic preconditioning with cobalt of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells improves cell migration and enhances therapy for treatment of ischemic acute kidney injury. PLoS One 2013;8(5):e62703 PMID: 23671625 PMCID: PMC3650042


Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) administration is known to enhance the recovery of the kidney following injury. Here we tested the potential of hypoxic-preconditioned-MSC transplantation to enhance the efficacy of cell therapy on acute kidney injury (AKI) by improving MSC migration to the injured kidney. Cobalt was used as hypoxia mimetic preconditioning (HMP). MSC were subjected to HMP through 24 h culture in 200 µmol/L cobalt. Compared to normoxia cultured MSC (NP-MSC), HMP significantly increased the expression of HIF-1α and CXCR4 in MSC and enhanced the migration of MSC in vitro. This effect was lost when MSC were treated with siRNA targeting HIF-1α or CXCR4 antagonist. SPIO labeled MSC were administered to rats with I/R injury followed immediately by magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging clearly showed that HMP-MSC exhibited greater migration and a longer retention time in the ischemic kidney than NP-MSC. Histological evaluation showed more HMP-MSC in the glomerular capillaries of ischemic kidneys than in the kidneys receiving NP-MSC. Occasional tubules showed iron labeling in the HMP group, while no tubules had iron labeling in NP group, indicating the possibility of tubular transdifferentiation after HMP. These results were also confirmed by fluorescence microscopy study using CM-DiI labeling. The increased recruitment of HMP-MSC was associated with reduced kidney injury and enhanced functional recovery. This effect was also related to the increased paracrine action by HMP-MSC. Thus we suggest that by enhancing MSC migration and prolonging kidney retention, hypoxic preconditioning of MSC may be a useful approach for developing AKI cell therapy.

Author List

Yu X, Lu C, Liu H, Rao S, Cai J, Liu S, Kriegel AJ, Greene AS, Liang M, Ding X


Andrew S. Greene PhD Interim Vice Chair, Chief, Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Alison J. Kriegel PhD Associate Professor in the Physiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Acute Kidney Injury
Blotting, Western
Bone Marrow Cells
Cell Hypoxia
Cell Movement
Cells, Cultured
Gene Expression
Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Receptors, CXCR4
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Treatment Outcome
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A

View this publication's entry at the Pubmed website PMID: 23671625
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