Survivors of sepsis
are frequently left with significant cognitive and behavioral impairments. These complications derive from nonresolving inflammation that persists following hospital discharge. To date, no study has investigated the effects of mesenchymal stromal cell therapy on the blood-brain barrier
, astrocyte activation, neuroinflammation, and cognitive and behavioral alterations in experimental sepsis
Prospective, randomized, controlled experimental study.
Government-affiliated research laboratory.
Male Swiss Webster mice (n
was induced by cecal ligation and puncture; sham-operated animals were used as control. All animals received volume resuscitation (1 mL saline/mouse subcutaneously) and antibiotics (meropenem 10 mg/kg intraperitoneally at 6, 24, and 48 hours). Six hours after surgery, mice were treated with mesenchymal stromal cells
IV (1 × 105
cells in 0.05 mL of saline/mouse) or saline (0.05 mL IV).
Measurements and Main Results:
At day 1, clinical score and plasma levels of inflammatory mediators were increased in cecal ligation and puncture mice. Mesenchymal stromal cells
did not alter clinical score or survival rate, but reduced levels of systemic interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. At day 15, survivor mice completed a battery of cognitive and behavioral tasks. Cecal ligation and puncture mice exhibited spatial and aversive memory deficits and anxiety
-like behavior. These effects may be related to increased blood-brain barrier
permeability, with altered tight-junction messenger RNA expression, increased brain levels of inflammatory mediators, and astrogliosis (induced at day 3). Mesenchymal stromal cells
mitigated these cognitive and behavioral alterations, as well as reduced blood-brain barrier
dysfunction, astrocyte activation, and interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-10 levels in vivo. In cultured primary astrocytes
stimulated with lipopolysaccharide, conditioned media from mesenchymal stromal cells
reduced astrogliosis, interleukin-1β, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, suggesting a paracrine mechanism of action.
In mice who survived experimental sepsis
, mesenchymal stromal cell therapy protected blood-brain barrier
integrity, reduced astrogliosis and neuroinflammation, as well as improved cognition