|According to Dr. Oscar K. Lee of the National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, mensenchymal stem cells can alleviate unnecessary immune responses by inhibiting inflammation and the function of mature and immature immune system T cells. The study transplanted umbilical cord blood-derived stem cells into mice modeled with systemic immune diseases closely resembling SLE in humans.
"We found that uMSC transplantation markedly delayed the deterioration of renal function, reduced certain antibody levels, alleviated changes in renal pathology and the development of proteinuria - the presence of excess protein serum in the urine and a sign of renal damage," said Dr. Lee.
The increased survival rate for mice treated at two months of age compared with mice treated at six months of age, led to the conclusion that early mensenchymal stem cell transplantation is the more effective treatment. Researchers also believe that the use of allogenic - or other donated - rather than autologous (self-donated) mensenchymal stem cells for SLE treatment, is more effective. A conclusion that makes sense with an autoimmune disorder.
"The therapeutic effects demonstrated in this pre-clinical study support further exploration of the possibility of using uMSCs from mismatched donors in LN treatment," concluded Dr. Lee.
"The ability of uMSCs to reduce inflammation means that they are likely to be of use in the treatment of autoimmune disorders and this study supports that reasoning and, in this case, also advocates the use of non-self cells," Dr. David Eve, associate editor of "Cell Transplantation" and an instructor at the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair.
Citation : Chang, J-W.; Hung , S-P.; Wu, H-H.; Wu, W-M.; Yang, A-H.; Tsai, H-L.; Yang, L-Y.; Lee, O. K. Therapeutic Effects of Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Experimental Lupus Nephritis. Cell Transplant. 20(2):245-257; 2011.
Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, College of Medicine, the University of South Florida and the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Contact, David Eve, PhD. at email@example.com or Camillo Ricordi, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org