The aim of this study was to establish a tree shrew metabolic syndrome model and demonstrate the utility of MSCs in treating metabolic syndrome. We used tree shrew umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (TS-UC-MSC) transplantation for the treatment of metabolic syndrome to demonstrate the clinical application of these stem cells and to provide a theoretical basis and reference methods for this treatment. Tree shrew metabolic syndrome model showed significant insulin resistance, high blood sugar, lipid metabolism disorders, and hypertension, consistent with the diagnostic criteria. TS-UC-MSC transplantation at 16 weeks significantly reduced blood sugar and lipid levels, improved insulin resistance and the regulation of insulin secretion, and reduced the expression levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-6 (P < 0.05). The transplanted TS-UC-MSCs targeted the liver, kidney and pancreas; reduced liver cell degeneration, necrosis, and inflammatory exudation; mitigated bleeding congestion and inflammatory cell infiltration in the kidney; and reduced islet cell degeneration and necrosis. We successfully developed a tree shrew metabolic syndrome model and showed that MSC migrate in diseased organs and can attenuate metabolic syndrome severity in a tree shrew model.
Keywords: Cell transplantation; Metabolic syndrome model; Treatment; Tree shrew; Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell.