In the process of regeneration following colon inflammation mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) of bone marrow origin may also take part besides their local counterparts. These cells migrate in the colon epithelium where they may contribute to epithelial regeneration or form progeny for keeping up local stem cell pool. MSC cells probably leave circulation around lymphoid aggregates to then migrate into nearby crypts. During migration they change their phenotype upon the influence of local microenvironment. Aims: In this study epithelial migration and transition of bone marrow stem cells were examined. Samples from normal healthy individuals and from aspecific inflammation were used. The possible role of lymphoid aggregates in the epithelial regeneration was also studied. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Samples of normal colon (2) and those showing mild aspecific colitis (3) from female patients who were initially transplanted with male bone marrow were studied. First we detected gender chromosomes with fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and the samples were archived with digital scanning. Then CD45 and cytokeratin (CK) double immunofluorescent reactions (IF) were made followed by digitalization again. Digitalized samples were estimated simultaneously with virtual microscopy (Mirax Viewer). RESULTS: Significant elevation of CD45 negative/Y-FISH positive potential MSCs were found in crypts locating to the neighborhood of lymphoid aggregates (1,075%) compared with both normal (0,027%, p = 0,002) and mild colitis (0,045%, p = 0,004) samples. CONCLUSION: Local stem cells probably have enough regeneration capacity in case of minor inflammation. However, in aspecific inflammation the number of MSCs contributing to epithelial regeneration was elevated, suggesting their facilitated contribution to the repair process with less probable forming of local stem cell progeny.
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