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Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2019 Aug 5;51(8):845-855. doi: 10.1093/abbs/gmz065.

Immunomodulatory effect of human amniotic epithelial cells on restoration of ovarian function in mice with autoimmune ovarian disease.

Zhang Q1,2,3, Huang Y1, Sun J1, Gu T1, Shao X4, Lai D1,2,3.

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The International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Embryo Original Diseases, Shanghai, China.
Shanghai Municipal Key Clinical Speciality, Shanghai, China.
Shanghai iCELL Biotechnology Co., Ltd, Shanghai, China.


Autoimmune ovarian disease (AOD) is considered to be a major cause of premature ovarian failure (POF). The immunomodulatory properties of human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) have been studied in many disease models. We previously reported that hAECs restored ovarian function in chemotherapy-induced POF mice, but the immunomodulatory mechanism of hAECs is still unclear. To investigate the effect of hAECs on recipient mice, especially on regulatory Treg cells, hAECs and hAEC-conditioned medium (hAEC-CM) were intravenously injected into AOD mice immunized with zona pellucida protein 3 peptides (pZP3). Ovarian function was evaluated through estrous cycle, hormone secretion, follicle development, and cell apoptosis analysis. Immune cells including CD3, CD4, CD8 and Treg cells in the spleens were tested by flow cytometry. To elucidate the effect of hAEC-CM on macrophage function, inflammation model in vitro was established in RAW264.7 cells induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). hAECs and hAEC-CM regulated estrous cycles, promoted follicle development, ameliorated cell apoptosis and fibrosis in ovaries of AOD mice. In addition, hAECs significantly reversed the decrease of pZP3-induced Treg cells in the spleens. In vitro, hAEC-CM significantly inhibited the inflammatory reaction induced by LPS in RAW264.7 cells via up-regulating the expression of M2 macrophage genes. Further study demonstrated that hAEC-secreted transforming growth factor-beta and macrophage inhibitory factor played important roles in the macrophage polarization and migration under inflammatory stimulation. Taken together, hAECs restored ovarian function by up-regulating Treg cells in the spleens and reduced the inflammatory reaction via modulating the activated macrophage function in a paracrine manner in the ovaries of AOD mice.


autoimmune ovarian disease; human amniotic epithelial cells; premature ovarian failure; regulatory T cells; zona pellucida protein 3

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