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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2023, Volume 17, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11684-022-0953-y

Human menstrual blood-derived stem cells alleviate autoimmune hepatitis via JNK/MAPK signaling pathway and

Received: 2022-04-06 Accepted: 2023-04-07 Available online: 2023-04-07

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Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a severe globally distributed liver disease that could occur at any age. Human menstrual blood-derived stem cells (MenSCs) have shown therapeutic effect in acute lung injury and liver failure. However, their role in the curative effect of AIH remains unclear. Here, a classic AIH mouse model was constructed through intravenous injection with concanavalin A (Con A). MenSCs were intravenously injected while Con A injection in the treatment groups. The results showed that the mortality by Con A injection was significantly decreased by MenSCs treatment and liver function tests and histological analysis were also ameliorated. The results of phosphoproteomic analysis and RNA-seq revealed that MenSCs improved AIH, mainly by apoptosis and c-Jun N-terminal kinase/mitogen-activated protein signaling pathways. Apoptosis analysis demonstrated that the protein expression of cleaved caspase 3 was increased by Con A injection and reduced by MenSCs transplantation, consistent with the TUNEL staining results. An AML12 co-culture system and JNK inhibitor (SP600125) were used to verify the JNK/MAPK and apoptosis signaling pathways. These findings suggested that MenSCs could be a promising strategy for AIH.

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