Objectives: Most obese patients develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of clinical features characterized by hypertension, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia, a pre-diabetic condition that is often complicated by diabetic cardiomyopathy (DC). A major effort is underway to develop therapies aimed at regenerating the myocardium or to stimulate endogenous repair. The application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment of DC in recent years offers promising results. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the intravenous administration of MSCs on the hearts of obese diabetic rats. Methods: Sixty male rats were fed a regular diet until they reached 1 month of age. Then, 20 rats were kept on a regular diet (healthy) and 40 rats were switched to a high-fat diet (obese) until the end of the study (16 months of tested diet). Two months after the administration of MSCs, the following parameters were evaluated: blood pressure, blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol. The gene expression of p300, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), and myocyte-enhancer factor 2 (MEF2A and MEF2C) as molecular markers of cardiac hypertrophy were assessed using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Sections from the heart were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and Massonís trichrome and histopathologically examined. Results: Blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, glycated hemoglobin, and insulin resistance measurements were significantly decreased in the MSC-injected group compared with the obese diabetic group (p<0.001 for all parameters except triglycerides). Gene expressions of p300, ANP, MEF2A, and MEF2C were significantly decreased (p<0.01). Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and inflammatory cells were significantly decreased (p<0.01). The levels of all parameters were not normalized compared with the control group. Conclusion: MSCs decreased the levels of blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Gene expressions of p300, ANP, MEF2A, MEF2C, as well as the number of inflammatory cells and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy were also decreased in MSC-treated DC.
Corresponding Author: Fouad H.