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Immunologic Consequences of Multiple, High-Dose Administration of Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Baboons

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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) express low immunogenicity and demonstrate immunomodulatory properties in vitro that may safely allow their transplantation into unrelated immunocompetent recipients without the use of pharmacologic immunosuppression. To test this hypothesis, three groups of baboons (three animals per group) were injected as follows: group 1 animals were injected with vehicle; group 2 animals were injected IV with DiI-labeled MSCs (5 × 106 MSCs/kg body weight) followed 6 weeks later by IM injections of DiO-labeled MSCs (5 × 106 MSCs/kg) from the same donor; and group 3 animals were treated similarly as group 2 except that MSCs were derived from two different donors. Muscle biopsies, performed 4 weeks after the second injection of MSCs, showed persistence of DiO-labeled MSCs in 50% of the recipients. Blood was drawn at intervals for evaluation of basic immune parameters (Con A mitogen responsiveness, PBMC phenotyping, immunoglobulin levels), and to determine T-cell and alloantibody responses to donor alloantigens. Host T-cell responses to donor alloantigens were decreased in the majority of recipients without suppressing the overall T-cell response to Con A, or affecting basic parameters of the immune system. All recipient baboons produced alloantibodies that reacted with donor PBMCs. Two of six animals produced alloantibodies that reacted with MSCs. We conclude that multiple administrations of high doses of allogeneic MSCs affected alloreactive immune responses without compromising the overall immune system of recipient baboons. The induction of host T-cell hyporesponsiveness to donor alloantigens may facilitate MSC survival.

Keywords: Alloantibody; Allogeneic; Baboons; Immunogenicity; Mesenchymal stem cells; T-cell hyporesponsiveness

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., Baltimore, MD, USA 2: University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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