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Keywords:

  • acute ischemia–reperfusion lung injury;
  • adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells;
  • inflammation;
  • melatonin;
  • oxidative stress

Abstract

This study investigated whether melatonin-treated adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSC) offered superior protection against acute lung ischemia–reperfusion (IR) injury. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 30) were randomized equally into five groups: sham controls, lung IR–saline, lung IR–melatonin, lung IR–melatonin–normal ADMSC, and lung IR–melatonin–apoptotic ADMSC. Arterial oxygen saturation was lowest in lung IR–saline; lower in lung IR–melatonin than sham controls, lung IR–melatonin–normal ADMSC, and lung IR–melatonin–apoptotic ADMSC; lower in lung IR–melatonin–normal ADMSC than sham controls and lung IR–melatonin–apoptotic ADMSC; lower in lung IR–melatonin–apoptotic ADMSC than sham controls (P < 0.0001 in each case). Right ventricular systolic blood pressure (RVSBP) showed a reversed pattern among all groups (all < 0.0001). Changes in histological scoring of lung parenchymal damage and CD68+ cells showed a similar pattern compared with RVSBP in all groups (all < 0.001). Changes in inflammatory protein expressions such as VCAM-1, ICAM-1, oxidative stress, TNF-α, NF-κB, PDGF, and angiotensin II receptor, and changes in apoptotic protein expressions of cleaved caspase 3 and PARP, and mitochondrial Bax, displayed identical patterns compared with RVSBP in all groups (all < 0.001). Numbers of antioxidant (GR+, GPx+, NQO-1+) and endothelial cell biomarkers (CD31+ and vWF+) were lower in sham controls, lung IR–saline, and lung IR–melatonin than lung IR–melatonin–normal ADMSC and lung IR–melatonin–apoptotic ADMSC, and lower in lung IR–melatonin–normal ADMSC than lung IR–melatonin–apoptotic ADMSC (< 0.001 in each case). In conclusion, when the animals were treated with melatonin, the apoptotic ADMSC were superior to normal ADMSC for protection of lung from acute IR injury.