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Online First

10.4103/aja.aja_98_20

Protective effect of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes against the reproductive toxicity of cyclophosphamide is associated with the p38MAPK/ERK and AKT signaling pathways

Xiao-Bin Guo, Jia-Wen Zhai, Hui Xia, Jian-Kun Yang, Jun-Hao Zhou, Wen-Bin Guo, Cheng Yang, Ming Xia, Kang-Yi Xue, Cun-Dong Liu, Qi-Zhao Zhou

Department of Urology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510630, China

Correspondence: Dr. CD Liu (cundongliu@163.com) or Dr. QZ Zhou (zhouqizhao19841224@163.com)

05-Feb-2021

Abstract

Spermatogenic dysfunction caused by cyclophosphamide (CP) chemotherapy has seriously influenced the life quality of patients. Unfortunately, treatments for CP-induced testicular spermatogenic dysfunction are limited, and the molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. For the first time, here, we explored the effects of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes (BMSC-exos) on CP-induced testicular spermatogenic dysfunction in vitro and in vivo. BMSC-exos could be taken up by spermatogonia (GC1-spg cells). CP-injured GC1-spg cells and BMSC-exos were cocultured at various doses, and then, cell proliferation was measured using 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. In addition, photophosphorylation of extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), and protein kinase B (AKT) proteins was evaluated by western blotting as well as apoptosis in GC1-spg cells measured using flow cytometry. Treatment with BMSC-exos enhanced cell proliferation and reduced apoptosis of CP-injured GCI-spg cells. Phosphorylated levels of ERK, AKT, and p38MAPK proteins were reduced in CP-injured spermatogonia when co-treated with BMSC-exos, indicating that BMSC-exos acted against the reproductive toxicity of CP via the p38MAPK/ERK and AKT signaling pathways. In experiments in vivo, CP-treated rats received BMSC-exos by injection into the tail vein, and testis morphology was compared between treated and control groups. Histology showed that transfusion of BMSC-exos inhibited the pathological changes in CP-injured testes. Thus, BMSC-exos could counteract the reproductive toxicity of CP via the p38MAPK/ERK and AKT signaling pathways. The findings provide a potential treatment for CP-induced male spermatogenic dysfunction using BMSC-exos.

Keywords: bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; cyclophosphamide; exosomes; reproductive toxicity

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