2019 Volume 13 Issue 5 Pages 411-422
Transplantation with Wharton's jelly derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) showed great benefits for restoring myocardial function. However, the outcome of WJ-MSCs transplantation was unsuccessful due to multiple factors including oxidative damage. The presence of oxidative stress due to myocardium injury influences fibrous tissue formation, which causes disability of cardiac muscle. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), and sonic hedgehog (SHH) are well-known master regulators in anti-fibrosis when secreted by WJ-MSCs. They showed a beneficial role in the recovery of cardiac fibrosis after WJ-MSCs transplantation. This study hypothesizes whether the reduction of the anti-fibrosis property in WJ-MSCs from oxidative damage can be recovered by overexpression of the HGF, IGF1, or SHH gene. Overexpression was attained by transfection of WJ-MSCs with pCMV3-HGF, pCMV3-IGF1, or pCMV3-SHH followed by H2O2 exposure and co-culturing with cardiac fibroblasts. Myofibroblast specific markers comprised of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and collagen type 1 (COL1) were evaluated. The WJ-MSCs treated with H2O2 influenced the expression of myofibroblastic markers, whereas the overexpression of HGF, IGF1 or SHH reduced myofibroblastic formation. These results indicate that the oxidative stress impaired anti-fibrotic property of WJ-MSCs, leads to an increase of myofibroblasts. Overexpression of anti-fibrotic genes restored the endogenous HGF, IGF1, and SHH alleviating improvement of cardiac function.