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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2012 Dec;98(3):465-73. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2012.09.034. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells prevent diabetic renal injury through paracrine action.

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Department of Bioinspired Science, Division of Life and Pharmaceutical Science, College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The present study examined renoprotective effect of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSC) in diabetes. NRK-52E cells were utilized to determine the paracrine effect of hUCB-MSC.


hUCB was harvested with the mother's consent. MSC obtained from the hUCB were injected through the tail vein. Growth arrested and synchronized NRK-52E cells were stimulated with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) in the presence of hUCB-MSC conditioned media.


At 4 weeks after the streptozotocin (STZ) injection, diabetic rats showed significantly increased urinary protein excretion, renal and glomerular hypertrophy, fractional mesangial area, renal expression of TGF-β1 and α-smooth muscle actin, and collagen accumulation but decreased renal E-cadherin and bone morphogenic protein-7 expression, confirming diabetic renal injury. hUCB-MSC effectively prevented diabetic renal injury except renal and glomerular hypertrophy without a significant effect on blood glucose. CM-DiI-labeled hUCB-MSC and immunostaining of PKcs, a human nuclei antigen, confirmed a few engraftment of hUCB-MSC in diabetic kidneys. hUCB-MSC conditioned media inhibited TGF-β1-induced extracellular matrix upregulation and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in NRK-52E cells in a concentration-dependent manner.


These results demonstrate the renoprotective effect of hUCB-MSC in STZ-induced diabetic rats possibly through secretion of humoral factors and suggest hUCB-MSC as a possible treatment modality for diabetic renal injury.

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