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Iron–Quercetin Complex Preconditioning Of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Accelerates Angiogenic And Fibroblast Migration: Implications For Wound Healing

Jiraporn Kantapan, Nampeung Anukul, Nipapan Leetrakool, Gwenaël Rolin, Jackie Vergote, Nathupakorn Dechsupa

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Cell-based therapy is a highly promising treatment paradigm in ischemic disease due to its ability to repair tissue when implanted into a damaged site. These therapeutic effects involve a strong paracrine component resulting from the high levels of bioactive molecules secreted in response to the local microenvironment. Therefore, the secreted therapeutic can be modulated by preconditioning the cells during in vitro culturing. Herein, we investigated the potential use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) probes, the “iron–quercetin complex” or IronQ, for preconditioning peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to expand proangiogenic cells and enhance their secreted therapeutic factors. PBMCs obtained from healthy donor blood were cultured in the presence of the iron–quercetin complex. Differentiated preconditioning PBMCs were characterized by immunostaining. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was carried out to describe the secreted cytokines. In vitro migration and tubular formation using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were completed to investigate the proangiogenic efficacy. IronQ significantly increased mononuclear progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation into spindle-shape-like cells, expressing both hematopoietic and stromal cell markers. The expansion increased the number of colony-forming units (CFU-Hill). The conditioned medium obtained from IronQ-treated PBMCs contained high levels of interleukin 8 (IL-8), IL-10, urokinase-type-plasminogen-activator (uPA), matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), as well as augmented migration and capillary network formation of HUVECs and fibroblast cells, in vitro. Our study demonstrated that the IronQ-preconditioning PBMC protocol could enhance the angiogenic and reparative potential of non-mobilized PBMCs. This protocol might be used as an adjunctive strategy to improve the efficacy of cell therapy when using PBMCs for ischemic diseases and chronic wounds. However, in vivo assessment is required for further validation.