The Open Stem Cell Journal


ISSN: 1876-8938 ― Volume 6, 2020

The Secretome of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Prevents Islet Beta Cell Apoptosis via an IL-10-Dependent Mechanism

Buthainah Al-Azzawi1, 3, Declan H. McGuigan2, Fiona N. Manderson Koivula2, Ajile Elttayef1, 3, Tina P. Dale1, Ying Yang1, Catriona Kelly2, Nicholas R. Forsyth1, *
1 School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, Keele University, Keele, UK
2 Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine, School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK
3 Biochemistry Department, College of Medicine, University of Al-Qadisiyah, Al Diwaniyah, Iraq



Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) is partly driven by autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cell, facilitated by the release of inflammatory cytokines, including IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-1β by cells of the innate immune system. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have been used to counteract autoimmunity in a range of therapeutic settings due to their secretion of trophic and immunomodulatory factors that ameliorate disease independently of the cells themselves.


The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the secretome of human bone-marrow derived MSCs on cytokine-driven beta cell apoptosis.


All experiments were conducted in two insulin-secreting islet cell lines (BRIN-BD11 and βTC1.6) with selected experiments confirmed in primary islets. MSC secretome was generated by conditioning serum-free media (MSC-CM) for 24 hours on sub-confluent MSC populations. The media was then removed and filtered in readiness for use.


Exposure to IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-1β induced apoptosis in cell lines and primary islets. The addition of MSC-CM to cell lines and primary islets partially reversed cytokine-driven apoptosis. MSC-CM also restored glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in cytokine-treated cell lines, which was linked to improved cell viability following from cytokine challenge. Characterization of MSC-CM revealed significant concentrations of IL-4, IL-10, PIGF and VEGF. Of these, IL-10 alone prevented cytokine-driven apoptosis. Furthermore, the inhibition of IL-10 through the addition of a blocking antibody reversed the anti-apoptotic effects of MSC-CM.


Overall, the protective effects of MSC-CM on islet beta cell survival appear to be largely IL-10-dependent.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Beta-cell, Islet, IL-10, MSCs, Mesenchymal Stromal Cells, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Secretome.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 6
First Page: 1
Last Page: 12
Publisher Id: TOSCJ-6-1
DOI: 10.2174/1876893802006010001

Article History:

Received Date: 30/12/2019
Revision Received Date: 20/01/2020
Acceptance Date: 09/02/2020
Electronic publication date: 20/03/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Al-Azzawi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Hilton Research Centre, School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, Keele University, Thornburrow Drive, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 7QB, Keele, UK, Tel: +44 (0)1782 674388;

Track Your Manuscript:


"Open access will revolutionize 21st century knowledge work and accelerate the diffusion of ideas and evidence that support just in time learning and the evolution of thinking in a number of disciplines."

Daniel Pesut
(Indiana University School of Nursing, USA)

"It is important that students and researchers from all over the world can have easy access to relevant, high-standard and timely scientific information. This is exactly what Open Access Journals provide and this is the reason why I support this endeavor."

Jacques Descotes
(Centre Antipoison-Centre de Pharmacovigilance, France)

"Publishing research articles is the key for future scientific progress. Open Access publishing is therefore of utmost importance for wider dissemination of information, and will help serving the best interest of the scientific community."

Patrice Talaga
(UCB S.A., Belgium)

"Open access journals are a novel concept in the medical literature. They offer accessible information to a wide variety of individuals, including physicians, medical students, clinical investigators, and the general public. They are an outstanding source of medical and scientific information."

Jeffrey M. Weinberg
(St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, USA)

"Open access journals are extremely useful for graduate students, investigators and all other interested persons to read important scientific articles and subscribe scientific journals. Indeed, the research articles span a wide range of area and of high quality. This is specially a must for researchers belonging to institutions with limited library facility and funding to subscribe scientific journals."

Debomoy K. Lahiri
(Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

"Open access journals represent a major break-through in publishing. They provide easy access to the latest research on a wide variety of issues. Relevant and timely articles are made available in a fraction of the time taken by more conventional publishers. Articles are of uniformly high quality and written by the world's leading authorities."

Robert Looney
(Naval Postgraduate School, USA)

"Open access journals have transformed the way scientific data is published and disseminated: particularly, whilst ensuring a high quality standard and transparency in the editorial process, they have increased the access to the scientific literature by those researchers that have limited library support or that are working on small budgets."

Richard Reithinger
(Westat, USA)

"Not only do open access journals greatly improve the access to high quality information for scientists in the developing world, it also provides extra exposure for our papers."

J. Ferwerda
(University of Oxford, UK)

"Open Access 'Chemistry' Journals allow the dissemination of knowledge at your finger tips without paying for the scientific content."

Sean L. Kitson
(Almac Sciences, Northern Ireland)

"In principle, all scientific journals should have open access, as should be science itself. Open access journals are very helpful for students, researchers and the general public including people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals. The articles are high standard and cover a wide area."

Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."

Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."

Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."

Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."

M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."

Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."

Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."

Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."

Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."

Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."

Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)

Browse Contents

Webmaster Contact:
Copyright © 2023 Bentham Open