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Amniotic fluid stem cells improve survival and enhance repair of damaged intestine in necrotising enterocolitis via a COX-2 dependent mechanism.

Gut

Survival Rate, Amniotic Fluid, cytology, Animals, Apoptosis, Cyclooxygenase 2, metabolism, Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors, pharmacology, Enterocolitis, Necrotizing, enzymology, therapy, Enterocytes, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Intestinal Mucosa, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Rats, Regeneration, physiology, Stem Cell Transplantation, Stem Cells

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      Abstract

      Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) remains one of the primary causes of morbidity and mortality in neonates and alternative strategies are needed. Stem cells have become a therapeutic option for other intestinal diseases, which share some features with NEC. We tested the hypothesis that amniotic fluid stem (AFS) cells exerted a beneficial effect in a neonatal rat model of NEC. Rats intraperitoneally injected with AFS cells and their controls (bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, myoblast) were analysed for survival, behaviour, bowel imaging (MRI scan), histology, bowel absorption and motility, immunofluorescence for AFS cell detection, degree of gut inflammation (myeloperoxidase and malondialdehyde), and enterocyte apoptosis and proliferation. AFS cells integrated in the bowel wall and improved rat survival and clinical conditions, decreased NEC incidence and macroscopic gut damage, improved intestinal function, decreased bowel inflammation, increased enterocyte proliferation and reduced apoptosis. The beneficial effect was achieved via modulation of stromal cells expressing cyclooxygenase 2 in the lamina propria, as shown by survival studies using selective and non-selective cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors. Interestingly, AFS cells differentially expressed genes of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, which regulate intestinal epithelial stem cell function and cell migration and growth factors known to maintain gut epithelial integrity and reduce mucosal injury. We demonstrated here for the first time that AFS cells injected in an established model of NEC improve survival, clinical status, gut structure and function. Understanding the mechanism of this effect may help us to develop new cellular or pharmacological therapies for infants with NEC.

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      Most cited references 59

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      We have developed a method to detect DNA synthesis in proliferating cells, based on the incorporation of 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) and its subsequent detection by a fluorescent azide through a Cu(I)-catalyzed [3 + 2] cycloaddition reaction ("click" chemistry). Detection of the EdU label is highly sensitive and can be accomplished in minutes. The small size of the fluorescent azides used for detection results in a high degree of specimen penetration, allowing the staining of whole-mount preparations of large tissue and organ explants. In contrast to BrdU, the method does not require sample fixation or DNA denaturation and permits good structural preservation. We demonstrate the use of the method in cultured cells and in the intestine and brain of whole animals.
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        Isolation of amniotic stem cell lines with potential for therapy.

        Stem cells capable of differentiating to multiple lineages may be valuable for therapy. We report the isolation of human and rodent amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells that express embryonic and adult stem cell markers. Undifferentiated AFS cells expand extensively without feeders, double in 36 h and are not tumorigenic. Lines maintained for over 250 population doublings retained long telomeres and a normal karyotype. AFS cells are broadly multipotent. Clonal human lines verified by retroviral marking were induced to differentiate into cell types representing each embryonic germ layer, including cells of adipogenic, osteogenic, myogenic, endothelial, neuronal and hepatic lineages. Examples of differentiated cells derived from human AFS cells and displaying specialized functions include neuronal lineage cells secreting the neurotransmitter L-glutamate or expressing G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels, hepatic lineage cells producing urea, and osteogenic lineage cells forming tissue-engineered bone.
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          Inducible cyclooxygenase may have anti-inflammatory properties.

          Cyclooxygenase (COX) has two isoforms. Generally, COX 1 is constitutively expressed in most tissues, where it maintains physiological processes; inducible COX 2 is considered a pro-inflammatory enzyme and a chief target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Here we present evidence that COX 2 may have anti-inflammatory properties. In carrageenin-induced pleurisy in rats, the predominant cells at 2 hours are polymorphonuclear leucocytes, whereas mononuclear cells dominate from 24 hours until resolution at 48 hours. In this model, COX 2 protein expression peaked initially at 2 hours, associated with maximal prostaglandin E2 synthesis. However, at 48 hours there was a second increase in COX 2 expression, 350% greater than that at 2 hours. Paradoxically, this coincided with inflammatory resolution and was associated with minimal prostaglandin E2 synthesis. In contrast, levels of prostaglandin D2, and 15deoxy delta(12-14)prostaglandin J2 were high at 2 hours, decreased as inflammation increased, but were increased again at 48 hours. The selective COX 2 inhibitor NS-398 and the dual COX 1/COX 2 inhibitor indomethacin inhibited inflammation at 2 hours but significantly exacerbated inflammation at 48 hours. This exacerbation was associated with reduced exudate prostaglandin D2 and 15deoxy delta(12-14)prostaglandin J2 concentrations, and was reversed by replacement of these prostaglandins. Thus, COX 2 may be pro-inflammatory during the early phase of a carrageenin-induced pleurisy, dominated by polymorphonuclear leucocytes, but may aid resolution at the later, mononuclear cell-dominated phase by generating an alternative set of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.1136/gutjnl-2012-303735
            23525603

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