The therapeutic potential of tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells (TMSC) prepared from human tonsillar tissue has been studied in animal models for several diseases such as hepatic injury, hypoparathyroidism, diabetes and muscle dystrophy. In this study, we examined the therapeutic effects of TMSC in a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model. TMSC were injected in DSS-induced colitis mice via intraperitoneal injection twice (TMSC[x2]) or four times (TMSC[x4]). Control mice were injected with either phosphate-buffered saline or human embryonic kidney 293 cells. Body weight, stool condition and disease activity index (DAI) were examined daily. Colon length, histologic grading, and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-17 and tumor necrosis factor α, and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10, IL-11 and IL-13, were also measured. Our results showed a significant improvement in survival rates and body weight gain in colitis mice injected with TMSC[x2] or TMSC[x4]. Injection with TMSC also significantly decreased DAI scores throughout the experimental period; at the end of experiment, almost complete reversal of DAI scores to normal was found in colitis mice treated with TMSC[x4]. Colon length was also significantly recovered in colitis mice treated with TMSC[x4]. However, histopathological alterations induced by DSS treatment were not apparently improved by injection with TMSC. Finally, treatment with TMSC[x4] significantly reversed the mRNA levels of IL-1β and IL-6, although expression of all pro-inflammatory cytokines tested was induced in colitis mice. Under our experimental conditions, however, no apparent alterations in the mRNA levels of all the anti-inflammatory cytokines tested were found. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that multiple injections with TMSC produced a therapeutic effect in a mouse model of DSS-induced colitis.
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© 2017 Yu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.