Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 369, Issue 2, pp 303–312 | Cite as

Preconditioning with melatonin improves therapeutic outcomes of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in targeting liver fibrosis induced by CCl4

  • Keywan Mortezaee
  • Neda Khanlarkhani
  • Fatemeh Sabbaghziarani
  • Saeid Nekoonam
  • Jamal Majidpoor
  • Amir Hosseini
  • Parichehr Pasbakhsh
  • Iraj Ragerdi KashaniEmail author
  • Adib Zendedel
Regular Article


Preconditioning of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with melatonin (MT) has shown promising results in animal models of myocardial infarction, renal ischemia and cerebral ischemia. Here, we use this strategy in the liver fibrosis induced by CCl4. There were five groups: normal, CCl4, CCl4 + vehicle, CCl4 + BMMSCs and CCl4 + MT-bone marrow (BM)-derived MSCs (MT-BMMSCs). CCl4 was injected twice weekly for 8 weeks and treatment either with cells or vehicle was performed at the beginning of week 5 with a single dose. BMMSCs were preconditioned with MT for 24 h before injection. MT-BMMSCs had a high ability of homing into the injured liver (P ≤ 0.05 vs. BMMSCs). The CCl4 + MT-BMMSCs group showed higher percentage of glycogen storage but lower percentage of collagen and lipid accumulation (P ≤ 0.05 vs. CCl4 + BMMSCs). The CCl4 + MT-BMMSCs group showed lower expressions of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and Bax and lower content of sera alanine aminotransferase (ALT) but higher expressions of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and Bcl2 compared with the BMMSCs group (P ≤ 0.05). The results showed the better therapeutic outcomes of MT preconditioning by probably improving cell homing and also better maintenance of the balance between matrix degrading and accumulating factors.


Preconditioning Melatonin Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells Liver Matrix metalloproteinase 



This study was supported in part by grant 93-02-30-25909 from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keywan Mortezaee
    • 1
  • Neda Khanlarkhani
    • 2
  • Fatemeh Sabbaghziarani
    • 3
  • Saeid Nekoonam
    • 2
  • Jamal Majidpoor
    • 4
  • Amir Hosseini
    • 4
  • Parichehr Pasbakhsh
    • 2
  • Iraj Ragerdi Kashani
    • 2
    Email author
  • Adib Zendedel
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineKurdistan University of Medical SciencesSanandajIran
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineQazvin University of Medical SciencesQazvinIran
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Institute of Neuroanatomy, School of MedicineRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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