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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012, Article ID 392050, 12 pages
Research Article

Secreted Factors from Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Upregulate IL-10 and Reverse Acute Kidney Injury

1Center for Engineering in Medicine and Surgical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 51 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
2Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
3Renal Medicine Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4Department of Research and Development, Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc., Medford, MA 02155, USA
5Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08901, USA

Received 11 September 2012; Accepted 2 November 2012

Academic Editor: Jeffrey L. Spees

Copyright © 2012 Jack M. Milwid et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acute kidney injury is a devastating syndrome that afflicts over 2,000,000 people in the US per year, with an associated mortality of greater than 70% in severe cases. Unfortunately, standard-of-care treatments are not sufficient for modifying the course of disease. Many groups have explored the use of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) for the treatment of AKI because BMSCs have been shown to possess unique anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective, and regenerative properties in vitro and in vivo. It is yet unresolved whether the primary mechanisms controlling BMSC therapy in AKI depend on direct cell infusion, or whether BMSC-secreted factors alone are sufficient for mitigating the injury. Here we show that BMSC-secreted factors are capable of providing a survival benefit to rats subjected to cisplatin-induced AKI. We observed that when BMSC-conditioned medium (BMSC-CM) is administered intravenously, it prevents tubular apoptosis and necrosis and ameliorates AKI. In addition, we observed that BMSC-CM causes IL-10 upregulation in treated animals, which is important to animal survival and protection of the kidney. In all, these results demonstrate that BMSC-secreted factors are capable of providing support without cell transplantation, and the IL-10 increase seen in BMSC-CM-treated animals correlates with attenuation of severe AKI.