Mesenchymal stem cell secretome ameliorates over-expression of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) in animal SLE model

Muhammad Adrianes Bachnas, Gustaaf Albert Dekker, Ambar Mudigdo, Bambang Purwanto, Sri Sulistyowati, Erry Gumilar Dachlan, Muhammad Ilham Aldika Akbar, Angliana Chouw, Cynthia Retna Sartika, Widjiati Widjiati

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Introduction: In the near future, stem cell research may lead to several major therapeutic innovations in medical practice. Secretome, a “by-product” of stem cell line cultures, has many advantages. Its easiness of storage, usage, and fast direct effect are some of those to consider. Fetal growth restriction (FGR) remains one of the significant challenges in maternal-fetal and neonatal medicine. Placentation failure is one of the most profound causal and is often related to increasing sFlt-1 in early pregnancy. This study aimed to investigate hUC-MSC secretome in ameliorating sFlt-1 and how to improve outcomes in preventing FGR in an animal model. Materials and methods: Pristane-induced systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a mouse model was used to represent placentation failure and its consequences. Twenty-one mice were randomized into three groups: (I) normal pregnancy, (II) SLE, and (III) SLE with secretome treatment. Pristane was administered in all Groups four weeks prior mating period. Secretome was derived from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSC) conditioned medium on the 3rd and 4th passage, around day-21 until day-28 from the start of culturing process. Mesenchymal stem cell was characterized using flow cytometry for CD105+, CD90+, and CD73+ surface antigen markers. Immunohistochemistry anlysis by using Remmele’s Immunoreactive Score (IRS) was used to quantify the placental sFlt-1 expression in each group. Birth weight and length were analyzed as the secondary outcome. The number of fetuses obtained was also calculated for pregnancy loss comparison between Groups. Results: The administration of secretome of hUC-MSC was found to lower the expression of the placental sFlt-1 significantly in the pristane SLE animal model (10.30 ± 1.40 vs. 4.98 ± 2.57; p < 0.001) to a level seen in normal mouse pregnancies in Group I (3.88 ± 0.49; p = 0.159). Secretome also had a significant effect on preventing fetal growth restriction in the pristane SLE mouse model (birth weight: 354.29 ± 80.76 mg vs. 550 ± 64.03 mg; p < 0.001 and birth length: 14.43 ± 1.27 mm vs. 19.00 ± 1.41 mm), comparable to the birth weight and length of the normal pregnancy in Group I (540.29 ± 75.47 mg and 18.14 ± 1.34 mm, p = 0.808 and = 0.719). Secretome administration also showed a potential action to prevent high number of pregnancy loss as the number of fetuses obtained could be similar to those of mice in the normal pregnant Group (7.71 ± 1.11 vs. 7.86 ± 1.06; p = 0.794). Conclusions: Administration of secretome lowers sFlt-1 expression in placenta, improves fetal growth, and prevents pregnancy loss in a mouse SLE model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2279931
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Human umbilical cord
  • fetal growth restriction (FGR)
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • placenta
  • sFlt-1
  • secretome


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