Determination of optimized oxygen partial pressure to maximize the liver regenerative potential of the secretome obtained from adipose-derived stem cells
Childbirth injures muscles and nerves responsible for urinary continence. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or their secretome given systemically could provide therapeutic benefit for this complex multisite injury. We investigated whether MSCs or their secretome, as collected from cell culture, facilitate recovery from simulated childbirth injury. Age-matched female Sprague-Dawley rats received pudendal nerve crush and vaginal distension (PNC+VD) and a single intravenous (iv) injection of 2 million MSCs or saline. Controls received sham injury and iv saline. Additional rats received PNC+VD and a single intraperitoneal (ip) injection of concentrated media conditioned by MSCs (CCM) or concentrated control media (CM). Controls received a sham injury and ip CM. Urethral and nerve function were assessed with leak point pressure (LPP) and pudendal nerve sensory branch potential (PNSBP) recordings 3 wk after injury. Urethral and pudendal nerve anatomy were assessed qualitatively by blinded investigators. Quantitative data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Holm-Sidak post hoc tests with P < 0.05 indicating significant differences. Both LPP and PNSBP were significantly decreased 3 wk after PNC+VD with saline or CM compared with sham-injured rats, but not with MSC or CCM. Elastic fiber density in the urethra increased and changed in orientation after PNC+VD, with a greater increase in elastic fibers with MSC or CCM. Pudendal nerve fascicles were less dense and irregularly shaped after PNC+VD and had reduced pathology with MSC or CCM. MSC and CCM provide similar protective effects after PNC+VD, suggesting that MSCs act via their secretions in this dual muscle and nerve injury.