Ameliorating Effect of Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Model of Dravet Syndrome


Dravet syndrome (DS) is a form of severe childhood-onset refractory epilepsy typically caused by a heterozygous loss-of-function mutation. DS patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are appropriate human cells for exploring disease mechanisms and testing new therapeutic strategies in vitro. Repeated spontaneous seizures can cause neuroinflammatory reactions and oxidative stress, resulting in neuronal toxicity, neuronal dysfunction, blood-brain barrier disruption, and hippocampal inflammation. Antiepileptic drug therapy does not delay the development of chronic epilepsy. The application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is one therapeutic strategy for thwarting epilepsy development. This study evaluated the effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell-conditioned medium (HUMSC-CM) in a new in vitro model of neurons differentiated from DS patient-derived iPSCs. In the presence of HUMSC-CM, increases in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and glutathione (GSH) levels were found to contribute to a reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. In parallel, inflammation was rescued in DS patient-derived neuronal cells via increased expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines (TGF-β, IL-6, and IL-10) and significant downregulation of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β expression. The intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and malondialdehyde (MDA) and ROS levels were decreased in DS patient-derived cells. In addition, action potential (AP) firing ability was enhanced by HUMSC-CM. In conclusion, HUMSC-CM can effectively eliminate ROS, affect migration and neurogenesis, and promote neurons to enter a highly functional state. Therefore, HUMSC-CM is a promising therapeutic strategy for the clinical treatment of refractory epilepsy such as DS. © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Authors Zhao H, Li S, He L, Tang F, Han X, Deng W, Lin Z, Huang R, Li Z
Journal Molecular neurobiology
Publication Date 2022 Feb;59(2):748-761
PubMed 34766239
DOI 10.1007/s12035-021-02633-1

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