This study was performed to gain insights into novel therapeutic approaches for acute systemic inflammation in heatstroke. Bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BMMNCs) secrete anti-inflammatory proteins and have protective effects against acute inflammation. Recent evidence suggested that transplantation of BMMNCs can reduce the acute tissue injury caused by regional myocardial reperfusion and the lung dysfunction induced by lipopolysaccharides. We evaluated whether BMMNCs attenuate systemic inflammatory response induced by severe heatstroke.
Material and methods
Anesthetized 12-week-old male Wistar rats were subjected to heat stress (41.8 °C for 30 min) with/without transplantation of BMMNCs. Bone marrow cells were harvested from the femur and tibia of other Wistar rats. BMMNCs were separated by density centrifugation, dissolved in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and injected intravenously immediately after heat stress (HS-BMMNCs group). The control group was administered an equal volume of PBS, and the sham group underwent the same procedure without heat stress.
Seven-day survival improved significantly in the HS-BMMNCs group versus control group (83.3% vs 41.7%). Transplantation of BMMNCs significantly suppressed serum levels of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6 and histone H3 at 3, 6, and 12 h after heat stress. Besides, the elevation of serum syndecan-1, a main component of the vascular endothelial glycocalyx layer, in the BMMNCs group was significantly suppressed compared to that in the control group at 6 and 12 h after heat stress. Histological analysis revealed that edema of the alveolar septum and vascular endothelial injury in the lung were evident in the control group 6 h after heat stress, whereas the morphological alteration was ameliorated in the HS-BMMNCs group. Also, histological analysis using BMMNCs derived from green fluorescent protein transgenic rats showed that the transplanted BMMNCs migrated into lung, kidney, and spleen at 24 h after heat stress but did not engraft to host tissues.
Transplantation of BMMNCs attenuated acute systemic inflammation and vascular endothelial injury, reduced organ dysfunction, and improved survival in a rat heatstroke model. These findings provide a possible therapeutic strategy against critical heatstroke.