The enhancement of CCL2 and CCL5 by human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells might contribute to inflammatory suppression and axonal extension after spinal cord injury
Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hMSCs) have shown potential in facilitating recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) through communicating with microglia/macrophages (MG/MΦ). We here focused on chemokines as a candidate for the communication. Selected MG/MΦ-related chemokines were determined gene expression after SCI and further focused CCL2/CCR2 and CCL5/CCR5 to estimate role of the chemokines by hMSCs. Male C57/BL6 mice were subjected to spinal cord transection. Gene
... transection. Gene expression was assayed in the spinal cords following SCI for selected MG/MΦ-related chemokines and their receptors. hMSCs (5×105 cells) were then transplanted into parenchyma of the spinal cord, and the expressions of the Ccl2/Ccr2 and Ccl5/Ccr5 axes, inflammation, MG/MΦ-polarization, and axonal regeneration were evaluated to measure the influence of the hMSCs. Finally, mouse CCL5 was injected into the spinal cords. Acute increases in gene expression after SCI were observed for most chemokines, including Ccl2; chronic increases were observed for Ccl5. CCL2+-cells merged with NeuN+-neurons. CCR2+ immunoreactivity was principally observed in Ly-6G+/iNOS+-granulocytes on postoperative day (pod) 1, and CCL5+ and CCR5+ immunoreactivity overlapped with NeuN+-neurons and F4/80+-MG/MΦ on pod 14. The hMSC transplantation enhanced Ccl2 and Ccl5 and improved locomotor activity. The hMSC implantation did not alter the number of Ly-6G+/CCR2+ but decreased Il1, Elane, and Mpo on pod 3. Conversely, hMSC transplantation increased expression of Zc3h12a (encodes MCP-1-induced protein) on pod 14. Moreover, hMSC increased the Aif1, and two alternatively activated macrophage (AAM)-related genes, Arg1 and Chil3 (Ym1), as well as axonal regenerative markers, Dpysl2 and Gap43. Gene expression indicative of AAM polarization and axonal regeneration were partially recovered by CCL5 injection. These results suggest that hMSC implantation increases Ccl2 and Ccl5, improves locomotor activity, enhances MG/MΦ polarization to AAM, and increases the gene expression of axonal regenerative markers. These functions of hMSCs might be partially mediated by the CCL2/CCR2 and CCL5/CCR5 axes.