Objective: It is well known that inflammation plays key roles in the development of atherosclerosis and that the transplantation of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs) can suppress inflammation in rodent models of ischemic diseases. Here, we explored whether transplantation of autologous BMMNCs could prevent the progression of atherosclerosis by the alleviation of inflammatory responses in a rabbit model of carotid artery atherosclerosis. Methods and Results: The atherosclerotic rabbit model was established by air desiccation followed by a high-cholesterol diet for 8 weeks. Then, 1 × 107 BMMNCs labeled with BrdU or an equal volume of vehicle were injected into the rabbits via the ear vein. Using an ultrasonographic imaging method, we found that autologous BMMNC treatment significantly decreased the area of atherosclerotic plaques compared to the vehicle-treated group (p < 0.05). The results were further confirmed by hematoxylin-eosin staining. RT-PCR results demonstrated that BMMNC treatment significantly reduced the expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and CD147 but increased the expression of IL-10 and transforming growth factor-β compared with vehicle treatment (p < 0.05), which was consistent with Western blot results. Conclusions: Transplantation of autologous BMMNCs delays the development of atherosclerosis, most probably via the attenuation of inflammatory responses, which could be a new approach for treating carotid atherosclerosis.
- Autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells
- Inflammatory responses
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine