Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have shown great promise for cell therapy of a wide range of diseases such as diabetes. However, insufficient viability of transplanted cells reaching to damaged tissues has limited their potential therapeutic effects. Expression of estrogen receptors on stem cells may suggest a role for 17β-estradiol (E2) in regulating some functions in these cells. There is evidence that E2 enhances homing of stem cells. Induction of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) by E2 and the profound effect of HIF-1α on migration of cells have previously been demonstrated. We investigated the effect of E2 on major mediators involved in trafficking and subsequent homing of MSCs both in vitro and in vivo in diabetic rats.
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