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Open Access Gender-Dependent Survival of Allogeneic Trophoblast Stem Cells in Liver

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In view of the well-known phenomenon of trophoblast immune privilege, trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) might be expected to be immune privileged, which could be of interest for cell or gene therapies. Yet in the ectopic sites tested so far, TSC transplants fail to show noticeable immune privilege and seem to lack physiological support. However, we show here that after portal venous injection, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled TSCs survive for several months in the livers of allogeneic female but not male mice. Gonadectomy experiments revealed that this survival does not require the presence of ovarian hormones but does require the absence of testicular factors. By contrast, GFP-labeled allogeneic embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are reliably rejected; however, these same ESCs survive when mixed with unlabeled TSCs. The protective effect does not require immunological compatibility between ESCs and TSCs. Tumors were not observed in animals with either successfully engrafted TSCs or coinjected ESCs. We conclude that in a suitable hormonal context and location, ectopic TSCs can exhibit and confer immune privilege. These findings suggest applications in cell and gene therapy as well as a new model for studying trophoblast immunology and physiology.

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Keywords: Cell therapy; Immune privilege; Mice; Stem cells; Transplantation; Trophoblast

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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