Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) have shown potential in the treatment of degenerative diseases, including ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI), which occurs during organ transplantation and represents the main cause of post-transplant graft dysfunction. However, MSCs have heterogeneous characteristics, and studies of MSCs therapy have shown a variety of outcomes. To establish a new effective MSCs therapy, we developed an adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cell line (ASCL) and compared its therapeutic effects on primary adipose-derived MSCs (ASCs) using a hepatocyte co-culture model of hypoxia/reoxygenation in vitro and a rat model of hepatic IRI in vivo. The results showed that both ASCL and ASCs protect against hypoxia by improving hepatocyte viability, inhibiting reactive oxygen species release, and upregulating transforming growth factor-β in vitro. In vivo, ASCL or ASCs were infused into the spleen 24 h before the induction of rat hepatic IRI. The results showed that ASCL significantly improved the survival outcomes compared with the control (normal saline infusion) with the significantly decreased serum levels of liver enzymes and less damage to liver tissues compared with ASCs. Both ASCL and ASCs suppressed NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 inflammasome activation and subsequently reduced the release of activated IL-1β and IL-18, which is considered an important mechanism underlying ASCL and ASCs infusion in hepatic IRI. In addition, ASCL can promote the release of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, which was previously reported as a key factor in hampering the inflammatory cascade during hepatic IRI. Our results suggest ASCL as a new candidate for hepatic IRI treatment due to its relatively homogeneous characteristics.
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