Painful neuropathy is one of the complications of diabetes mellitus that adversely affects patients'quality of life. Pharmacological treatments are not fully satisfactory, and novel approaches needed. In a preclinical mouse model of diabetes the effect of both human mesenchymal stromal cells from adipose tissue (hASC) and their conditioned medium (hASC-CM) was evaluated. Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin. After neuropathic hypersensitivity was established, mice were intravenously injected with either 1 × 106 hASC or with CM derived from 2 × 106 hASC. Both hASC and CM (secretome) reversed mechanical, thermal allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, with a rapid and long lasting effect, maintained up to 12 weeks after treatments. In nerves, dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord of neuropathic mice we determined high IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α and low IL-10 levels. Both treatments restored a correct pro/antinflammatory cytokine balance and prevented skin innervation loss. In spleens of streptozotocin-mice, both hASC and hASC-CM re-established Th1/Th2 balance that was shifted to Th1 during diabetes. Blood glucose levels were unaffected although diabetic animals regained weight, and kidney morphology was recovered by treatments. Our data show that hASC and hASC-CM treatments may be promising approaches for diabetic neuropathic pain, and suggest that cell effect is likely mediated by their secretome.
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