Female stem cells are superior to males in preserving myocardial function following endotoxemia

Mariuxi C. Manukyan, Brent R. Weil, Yue Wang, Aaron M. Abarbanell, Jeremy L. Herrmann, Jeffrey A. Poynter, Benjamin D. Brewster, Daniel R. Meldrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may offer therapeutic benefit in the setting of sepsis and endotoxemia. Previous studies suggest that MSCs from female donors may possess better protective capabilities than their male counterparts. The present study examined whether female MSCs may offer a greater protective advantage in the setting of endotoxemic cardiac dysfunction compared with male MSCs. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intraperitoneally with LPS and then treated with intraperitoneal injections of either saline, female MSCs, or male MSCs. Hearts and serum were then collected for analysis of myocardial function, myocardial protein, and myocardial and serum cytokines. Compared with male MSC or vehicle-treated animals, female MSC treatment resulted in greater preservation of myocardial function (P < 0.001). Serum and myocardial levels of all measured cytokines were comparable between rats given MSCs from male or female donors but substantially improved over rats given vehicle (P < 0.05). Reduced myocardial inflammation correlated with reduced levels of phosphorylated p38 MAPK expression in the myocardium of animals injected with MSCs of either sex (P < 0.05). The Bcl-xL/Bax ratio was increased to a greater extent following treatment with female MSCs vs. male MSCs (P < 0.05). Intraperitoneal administration of MSCs is effective in limiting myocardial inflammation and dysfunction in the rat endotoxemia model. Compared with treatment with their male counterparts, MSC treatment from female donors is associated with greater cardiac protection against acute endotoxemic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1514
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Myocardial injury
  • Sepsis
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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