Cell Transplant. 2010 Aug 18;

Therapeutic Effects of Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Experimental Lupus Nephritis.

Authors: Chang JW, Hung SP, Wu HH, Wu WM, Yang AH, Tsai HL, Yang LY, Lee OK

Msenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to possess immuno-modulatory properties. Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease which results in nephritis and subsequent destruction of renal microstructure. We investigated whether human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (uMSCs) transplantation is useful in alleviating lupus nephritis in a murine model. It was found that uMSCs transplantation significantly delayed the development of proteinuria, decreased anti-dsDNA, alleviated renal injury, and prolonged the life span. There was a trend of decreasing T-helper (Th) 1 cytokines (IFN-Upsilon, IL-2) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-12) and increasing Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-10). The in vitro co-culture experiments showed that uMSCs only inhibited lymphocytes and splenocytes proliferation but not mesangial cells. Long-term engraftment of uMSCs in the kidney was not observed either. Together, these findings indicated that uMSCs were effective in decreasing renal inflammation and alleviating experimental lupus nephritis by inhibiting lymphocytes, inducing polarization of Th2 cytokines and inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines production rather than direct engraftment and differentiating into renal tissue. Therapeutic effects demonstrated in this pre-clinical study support further exploration of the possibility to use uMSCs from mismatched donors in lupus nephritis treatment.

PMID: 20719085 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]