Canine adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells pre-treated with TNF-alpha enhance immunomodulatory effects in inflammatory bowel disease in mice
Abstract Canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an intractable autoimmune disorder that results in various gastrointestinal and systemic symptoms. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which release immunomodulatory factors such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced gene/protein 6 (TSG-6) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), have been suggested as an alternative therapeutic option for IBD treatment in veterinary medicine. Furthermore, although it is known that MSCs pre-treated with pro-inflammatory cytokines show enhanced anti-inflammatory properties via the secretion of soluble factors, the underlying mechanisms of IBD remain unclear. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the therapeutic effects and corresponding mechanisms of canine adipose tissue-derived (cAT)-MSCs stimulated with TNF-α in mouse models of IBD. Mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)- or dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS)-induced colitis were injected intraperitoneally with cAT-MSCs pre-treated with TNF-α. Colitis severity was assessed and colon tissues were collected for histopathological, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and flow cytometry analysis. cAT-MSCs stimulated with TNF-α secreted higher concentrations of immunomodulatory factors such as TSG-6 and PGE2, which play a key role in inducing phenotypic alterations in macrophages. Consequently, TNF-α-pre-treated cAT-MSCs further regulated colonic inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-10, and ameliorated DSS- or DNBS-induced colitis in mice. Additionally, we demonstrated that M1 macrophages (F4/80 + /iNOS + cells) were decreased in colon tissues from mice treated with TNF-α-pre-treated cAT-MSCs, whereas M2 macrophages (F4/80 + /CD206 + cells) were increased. These results may suggest a new cell-based therapeutic option for treating IBD.