Background:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a heterogeneous group of subpopulations with differentially expressed surface markers. CD146 + MSCs correlate with high therapeutic and secretory potency. However, their therapeutic efficacy and mechanisms in premature ovarian failure (POF) have not been explored.
Methods:The umbilical cord (UC)-derived CD146 +/- MSCs were sorted using magnetic beads. The proliferation of MSCs was assayed by dye670 staining and flow cytometry. A mouse POF model was established by injection of cyclophosphamide and busulfan, followed by treatment with CD146 +/- MSCs. The therapeutic effect of CD146 +/- MSCs was evaluated based on body weight, hormone levels, follicle count and reproductive ability. Differential gene expression was identified by mRNA sequencing and validated by RT-PCR. The lymphocyte percentage was detected by flow cytometry.
Results:CD146 +/- MSCs had similar morphology and surface marker expression. However, CD146 + MSCs exhibited a significantly stronger proliferation ability. Gene profiles revealed that CD146 + MSCs had a lower levels of immunoregulatory factor expression. CD146 + MSCs exhibited a stronger ability to inhibit T cell proliferation. CD146 +/- MSCs treatment markedly restored FSH and E2 hormone secretion level, reduced follicular atresia, and increased sinus follicle numbers in a mouse POF model. The recovery function of CD146 + MSCs in a reproductive assay was slightly improved than that of CD146 - MSCs. Ovary mRNA sequencing data indicated that UC-MSCs therapy improved ovarian endocrine locally, which was through PPAR and cholesterol metabolism pathways. The percentages of CD3, CD4, and CD8 lymphocytes were significantly reduced in the POF group compared to the control group. CD146 + MSCs treatment significantly reversed the changes in lymphocyte percentages. Meanwhile, CD146 - MSCs could not improve the decrease in CD4/8 ratio induced by chemotherapy.
Conclusion:UC-MSCs therapy improved premature ovarian failure significantly. CD146 +/- MSCs both had similar therapeutic effects in repairing reproductive ability. CD146 + MSCs had advantages in modulating immunology and cell proliferation characteristics.