FULL-LENGTH ARTICLE Basic Research| Volume 25, ISSUE 2, P125-137, February 2023

Time course and mechanistic analysis of human umbilical cord perivascular cell mitigation of lipopolysaccharide-induced systemic and neurological inflammation

Published:December 03, 2022DOI:


      Background aims

      Because of their potent immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, mesenchymal stromal cells are a major focus in the field of stem cell therapy. However, the precise mechanisms underlying this are not entirely understood. Human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVCs) are a promising cell therapy candidate. This study was designed to evaluate the time course and mechanisms by which HUCPVCs mitigate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced systemic and neurological inflammation in immunocompetent mice. To explore the underlying mechanisms, the authors investigated the biodistribution and fate of HUCPVCs.


      Male C57BL/6 mice were randomly allocated to four groups: control, LPS, HUCPVCs or LPS + HUCPVCs. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and cytokine arrays were used to assess changes in pro-inflammatory mediators systemically and in the brain. Depressive-like behavioral changes were evaluated via a forced swim test. Quantum dot (qDot) labeling and immunohistochemistry were used to assess the biodistribution and fate of HUCPVCs and interactions with recipient innate immune cells.


      A single intravenously delivered dose of HUCPVCs significantly reduced the systemic inflammation induced by LPS within the first 24 h after administration. HUCPVC treatment abrogated the upregulated expression of pro-inflammatory genes in the hippocampus and cortex and attenuated depressive-like behavior induced by LPS treatment. Biodistribution analysis revealed that HUCPVC-derived qDots rapidly accumulated in the lungs and demonstrated limited in vivo persistence. Furthermore, qDot signals were associated with major recipient innate immune cells and promoted a shift in macrophages toward a regulatory phenotype in the lungs.


      Overall, this study demonstrates that HUCPVCs can successfully reduce systemic and neurological inflammation induced by LPS within the first 24 h after administration. Biodistribution and fate analyses suggest a critical role for the innate immune system in the HUCPVC-based immunomodulation mechanism.

      Key Words

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