Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have many roles that are important for the body’s proper functioning. When the MSC pool is damaged, it is often correlated with impaired development or health of the organism. MSC are known for their anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and trophic characteristics that play an important role in the physiological homeostasis of many tissues. Heat shock impairs MSC capacity by inducing the generation of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial dysfunction, which, in turn, send the cells into a state of premature senescence. Here, we pre-exposed MSC to melatonin, resveratrol, or curcumin, which are natural antioxidative compounds, and tested the protective effects of these substances from oxidative stress and aging. Our data showed that pre-exposure of MSC to antioxidants decreased reactive oxygen species while mitochondrial damage remained high. Additionally, although the proliferation of the cells was slow, antioxidants protected the cells from premature senescence, and subsequent cytokine release was prevented. We conclude that while elevated temperatures directly cause mitochondrial damage, senescence is induced by elevated ROS levels. We suggest that heat shock alters cell and tissue homeostasis by several independent mechanisms; however, reducing tissue senescence will reduce damage and provide a pathway to overcome physiological challenges in animals.
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- heat shock
- mesenchymal stem cells