To explore the effects and mechanisms of paracrine factors secreted from human adipose mesenchymal stem cell (hAdMSCs) that are activated by hypoxia on radioprotection against irradiation-induced salivary hypofunction in subjects undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancers. An organotypic spheroid coculture model to mimic irradiation (IR)-induced salivary hypofunction was set up for in vitro experiments. Human parotid gland epithelial cells were organized to form three-dimensional (3D) acinus-like spheroids on growth factor reduced -Matrigel. Cellular, structural, and functional damage following IR were examined after cells were cocultured with hAdMSCs preconditioned with either normoxia (hAdMSCNMX) or hypoxia (hAdMSCHPX). A key paracrine factor secreted by hAdMSCsHPX was identified by high-throughput microarray-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways on radioprotection were explored. Therapeutic effects of hAdMSCsHPX were evaluated after in vivo transplant into mice with IR-induced salivary hypofunction. In our 3D coculture experiment, hAdMSCsHPX significantly enhanced radioresistance of spheroidal human parotid epithelial cells, and led to greater preservation of salivary epithelial integrity and acinar secretory function relative to hAdMSCsNMX. Coculture with hAdMSCsHPX promoted FGFR expression and suppressed FGFR diminished antiapoptotic activity of hAdMSCsHPX. Among FGFR-binding secreted factors, we found that fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10) contributed to therapeutic effects of hAdMSCsHPX by enhancing antiapoptotic effect, which was dependent on FGFR–PI3K signaling. An in vivo transplant of hAdMSCsHPX into irradiated salivary glands of mice reversed IR-induced salivary hypofunction where hAdMSC-released FGF10 contributed to tissue remodeling. Our results suggest that hAdMSCsHPX protect salivary glands from IR-induced apoptosis and preserve acinar structure and functions by activation of FGFR-PI3K signaling via actions of hAdMSC-secreted factors, including FGF10. Stem Cells 2018;36:1020–1032.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology