Mesenchymal stem cell therapy ameliorates metabolic dysfunction and restores fertility in a PCOS mouse model through interleukin-10

Rishi Man Chugh, Hang soo Park, Abdeljabar El Andaloussi, Amro Elsharoud, Sahar Esfandyari, Mara Ulin, Lale Bakir, Alshimaa Aboalsoud, Mohamed Ali, Dalia Ashour, Prosper Igboeli, Nahed Ismail, Jan McAllister, Ayman Al-Hendy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine and metabolic disorder in reproductive-age women. Excessive inflammation and elevated androgen production from ovarian theca cells are key features of PCOS. Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-hMSC) and their secreted factors (secretome) exhibit robust anti-inflammatory capabilities in various biological systems. We evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of BM-hMSC and its secretome in both in vitro and in vivo PCOS models. Methods: For in vitro experiment, we treated conditioned media from BM-hMSC to androgen-producing H293R cells and analyzed androgen-producing gene expression. For in vivo experiment, BM-hMSC were implanted into letrozole (LTZ)-induced PCOS mouse model. BM-hMSC effect in androgen-producing cells or PCOS model mice was assessed by monitoring cell proliferation (immunohistochemistry), steroidogenic gene expression (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction [qRT-PCR] and Western blot, animal tissue assay (H&E staining), and fertility by pup delivery. Results: BM-hMSC significantly downregulate steroidogenic gene expression, curb inflammation, and restore fertility in treated PCOS animals. The anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) played a key role in mediating the effects of BM-hMSC in our PCOS models. We demonstrated that BM-hMSC treatment was improved in metabolic and reproductive markers in our PCOS model and able to restore fertility. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates for the first time the efficacy of intra-ovarian injection of BM-hMSC or its secretome to treat PCOS-related phenotypes, including both metabolic and reproductive dysfunction. This approach may represent a novel therapeutic option for women with PCOS. Our results suggest that BM-hMSC can reverse PCOS-induced inflammation through IL-10 secretion. BM-hMSC might be a novel and robust therapeutic approach for PCOS treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number388
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology


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