Upregulated tumor necrosis factor-α transcriptome and proteome in adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells from pigs with metabolic syndrome

Aditya S. Pawar, Alfonso Eirin, Hui Tang, Xiang Yang Zhu, Amir Lerman, Lilach O. Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have endogenous reparative properties, and may constitute an exogenous therapeutic intervention in patients with chronic kidney disease. The microenvironment of metabolic syndrome (MetS) induces fat inflammation, with abundant expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. MetS may also alter the content of adipose tissue-derived MSCs, and we hypothesized that the inflammatory profile of MetS manifests via upregulating MSC mRNAs and proteins of the TNF-α pathway. Methods: Domestic pigs were fed a 16-week Lean or MetS diet (n = 4 each). MSCs were harvested from abdominal subcutaneous fat, and their extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated. Expression profiles of mRNAs and proteins in MSCs and EVs were obtained by high-throughput sequencing and proteomics. Nuclear translocation of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor (NF)-kB was evaluated in MSC and in pig renal tubular cells (TEC) co-incubated with EVs. Results: We found 13 mRNAs and 4 proteins in the TNF-α pathway upregulated in MetS- vs. Lean-MSCs (fold-change > 1.4, p < 0.05), mostly via TNF-α receptor-1 (TNF-R1) signaling. Three mRNAs were upregulated in MetS-EVs. MetS-MSCs, as well as TECs co-incubated with MetS-EVs, showed increased nuclear translocation of NF-kB. Using qPCR, JUNB, MAP2K7 and TRAF2 genes followed the same direction of RNA-sequencing findings. Conclusions: MetS upregulates the TNF-α transcriptome and proteome in swine adipose tissue-derived MSCs, which are partly transmitted to their EV progeny, and are associated with activation of NF-kB in target cells. Hence, the MetS milieu may affect the profile of endogenous MSCs and their paracrine vectors and limit their use as an exogenous regenerative therapy. Anti-inflammatory strategies targeting the TNF-α pathway might be a novel strategy to restore MSC phenotype, and in turn function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155080
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Proteins
  • Tumor necrosis factor
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


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