Effect of local injection of mesenchymal stem cells on healing of sutured gastric perforation in an experimental model. BJS 2015; 102.

Published: 27th January 2015

Authors: L. Liu, P. W. Y. Chiu, P. K. Lam, C. C. Y. Poon, C. C. H. Lam, E. K. W. Ng et al.


Mesenchymal stem cells are proposed to facilitate repair of organ injuries. The aim of this study was to investigate whether local injection of mesenchymal stem cells could accelerate healing of sutured gastric perforations.


Sutured gastric perforations in rats were treated either with local injection of mesenchymal stem cells (injected MSC group) or by topically spraying with fibrin glue containing mesenchymal stem cells (sprayed MSC group). Controls were treated by local injection of saline or topical spray of fibrin glue without mesenchymal stem cells. Healing of sutured gastric perforations was assessed on days 3, 5 and 7.


Local injection of mesenchymal stem cells significantly promoted the healing of gastric perforations, with the highest pneumatic bursting pressure (mean(s.e.m.) 112·3(30·2) mmHg on day 5 versus 71·2(17·4) mmHg in saline controls; P = 0·001), minimal wound adhesions, and lowest incidence of wound dehiscence (3, 6, 5 and 1 animal on day 5 in control, fibrin, sprayed MSC and injected MSC groups respectively; n = 10 per group) and abdominal abscess (2, 2, 1 and no animals respectively on day 5). Histological examination showed that gastric perforations in the injected MSC group displayed reduced inflammation, and increased granulation and re‐epithelialization. Sutured gastric perforations in the injected MSC group showed decreased expression of interleukin 6, and increased expression of transforming growth factor β1 and epithelial proliferating cell nuclear antigen, compared with the other groups.


Local injection of mesenchymal stem cells was more effective than topical application, and enhanced the healing of sutured gastric perforations by an anti‐inflammatory process, enhanced cellular proliferation and earlier onset of granulation.

Surgical relevance

Abnormal healing of gastric perforation may cause morbidity and increase the risk of death. Adipose tissue‐derived mesenchymal stem cells have been found to promote the healing of organ injuries through cellular differentiation and secretion of cytokines that stimulate cellular proliferation and angiogenesis, and suppress inflammation.

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