, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 251–260 | Cite as

Mesenchymal stromal cells modulate gut inflammation in experimental colitis

  • Cristhiane Favero de Aguiar
  • Angela Castoldi
  • Vinícius Andrade-Oliveira
  • Aline Ignacio
  • Flávia Franco da Cunha
  • Raphael José Ferreira Felizardo
  • Ênio José Bassi
  • Niels Olsen Saraiva CâmaraEmail author
  • Danilo Candido de AlmeidaEmail author
Original Article


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) affect millions of people worldwide and their frequencies in developed countries have increased since the twentieth century. In this context, there is an intensive search for therapies that modulate inflammation and provide tissue regeneration in IBDs. Recently, the immunomodulatory activity of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ADMSCs) has been demonstrated to play an important role on several immune cells in different conditions of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In this study, we explored the immunomodulatory potential of ADMSC in a classical model of DSS-induced colitis. First, we found that treatment of mice with ADMSC ameliorated the severity of DSS-induced colitis, reducing colitis pathological score and preventing colon shortening. Moreover, a prominent reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines levels (i.e., IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-6 and MCP-1) was observed in the colon of animals treated with ADMSC. We also observed a significant reduction in the frequencies of macrophages (F4/80+CD11b+) and dendritic cells (CD11c+CD103+) in the intestinal lamina propria of ADMSC-treated mice. Finally, we detected the up-regulation of immunoregulatory-associated molecules in intestine of mice treated with ADMSCs (i.e., elevated arginase-1 and IL-10). Thus, this present study demonstrated that ADMSC modulates the overall gut inflammation (cell activation and recruitment) in experimental colitis, providing support to the further development of new strategies in the treatment of intestinal diseases.


Mesenchymal stromal cells Colitis Inflammation Intestine 



We would like to thank Paulo Albe for histological assistance, Meire Hiyane and Cláudia Silva Cunha for technical support and the members of Câmara’s laboratory for their comments and suggestions. This study was supported by grants from the following funding agencies: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - FAPESP (Grant numbers: 2012/02270-2, 2012/16794-3 and 2013/25327-2), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

Author contributions

CFA participated in the design of the study, experiments, data collection and analysis, and manuscript preparation. AC, VAO, AI and RJFF performed experiments, data collection and assisted in data interpretation. FC carried out experiments for ADMSC isolation, culturing and characterization, and assisted in data interpretation. EJB participated in the design of the study and helped with the experiments. NOSC coordinated the study, assisted in data interpretation, reviewed the manuscript critically, and has given final approval of the version to be published. DCA coordinated and participated in the design of the study, assisted in experiments, data interpretation and manuscript preparation. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All applicable national and institutional guidelines (Brazilian Federal law 6638) for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in this study involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and after approval by the Animal Care Committee of University of São Paulo-Register number: 122/2012.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


This study was supported by grants from the following funding agencies: FAPESP (Grant numbers: 2012/02270-2, 2012/16794-3 and 2013/25327-2), CAPES and CNPq.

Supplementary material

10787_2017_404_MOESM1_ESM.docx (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 51 kb)
10787_2017_404_MOESM2_ESM.tiff (4.7 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Analysis of TNF-α in the colon Quantification of TNFα in intestinal extract by ELISA. n = 3-6 animals/group. Representative results of two independent experiments. WT ctr = control group; WT DSS = vehicle-injected colitis group (DSS2.5% + PBS); WT DSS + ADMSC = colitis group injected with adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ADMSC) on days 1 and 5. *p < 0.05 (TIFF 4816 kb)
10787_2017_404_MOESM3_ESM.tiff (17.3 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 2 Representative dot plots of flow cytometry analysis of colonic lamina propria leucocytes (A)(upper panel) and mesenteric lymph nodes (B)(lower panel). (TIFF 17744 kb)
10787_2017_404_MOESM4_ESM.tiff (9.4 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 3 (A) Representative graph of the median fluorescence intensity (MFI) of CD206 expression on lamina propria macrophages. (B) Frequency of dendritic cells expressing CD40 in the intestinal lamina propria. WT ctr = control group; WT DSS = vehicle-injected colitis group (DSS2.5% + PBS); WT DSS + ADMSC = colitis group injected with adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ADMSC) on days 1 and 5. DCs = dendritic cells. a.u. = arbitrary units. *p < 0.05. (TIFF 9670 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristhiane Favero de Aguiar
    • 1
    return OK on get
  • Angela Castoldi
    • 1
  • Vinícius Andrade-Oliveira
    • 1
  • Aline Ignacio
    • 1
  • Flávia Franco da Cunha
    • 2
  • Raphael José Ferreira Felizardo
    • 2
  • Ênio José Bassi
    • 3
  • Niels Olsen Saraiva Câmara
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Danilo Candido de Almeida
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences IVUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Nephrology DivisionFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of Biological Sciences and HealthFederal University of AlagoasAlagoasBrazil
  4. 4.LIM 16, School of MedicineUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  5. 5.São PauloBrazil

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