Melatonin preconditioning of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells promotes their engraftment and improves renal regeneration in a rat model of chronic kidney disease

  • Kamran Saberi
  • Parichehr Pasbakhsh
  • Ameneh Omidi
  • Maryam Borhani-Haghighi
  • Saeid Nekoonam
  • Negar Omidi
  • Sodabeh Ghasemi
  • Iraj Ragerdi KashaniEmail author
Original Paper


Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) transplantation has shown to be effective in treating chronic kidney disease. However, the effectiveness of this strategy is constrained by low homing and survival rate of transplanted cells in the injured organs. Therefore, developing strategies to improve homing and cell survival rate and therapeutic potential in cell-based therapies seems necessary. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of pretreating BMMSCs with melatonin (MT) on the prosurvival and renoprotective of transplanted cells into the irreversible model of unilateral ureteral obstruction. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomized into four groups: Sham, UUO, UUO + BMMSCs, and UUO + BMMSCs + MT. The results of our study demonstrated that preconditioning with MT enhanced homing of BMMSCs into the injured kidney. MT reduced the number of TUNEL positive transplanted cells in the UUO + BMMSCs + MT group. The UUO + BMMSCs + MT group showed lower expressions of TGF-β1, α-SMA and TNF-α at both gene and protein levels but higher expression of E-cadherin compared with the UUO + BMMSCs group. In addition, MT preconditioned BMMSCs ameliorated basement membrane disruption and histological status of injured renal tubules and also reduced fibrosis in damaged kidneys. In conclusion, our results show that stem cells pretreated by MT may represent a feasible approach for improving the beneficial effects of stem cell therapy and significantly enhance their survival after transplantation to the injured kidney.


Melatonin Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells Preconditioning Chronic kidney disease Renal fibrosis 



This study was supported by Tehran University of medical sciences and health service, Tehran, Iran (Grant No. 97-02-30-34469).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kamran Saberi
    • 1
  • Parichehr Pasbakhsh
    • 1
  • Ameneh Omidi
    • 1
  • Maryam Borhani-Haghighi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Saeid Nekoonam
    • 1
  • Negar Omidi
    • 3
  • Sodabeh Ghasemi
    • 1
  • Iraj Ragerdi Kashani
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Shafa Neuroscience Research CenterKhatamAlanbia HospitalTehranIran
  3. 3.Tehran Heart CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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