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Open Access Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Ameliorate Mice Trinitrobenzene Sulfonic Acid (TNBS)-Induced Colitis

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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are poorly immunogenic and have potent immunosuppressive activities, have emerged as a promising candidate for cellular therapeutics for the treatment of disorders caused by abnormal immune responses. In this study we investigated whether human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) could ameliorate colitis in a trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis model. TNBS-treated colitic mice were infused with hUC-MSCs or vehicle control. The mice were sacrificed on day 1, 3, and 5 after infusion, and their clinical and pathological conditions were evaluated by body weight, colon length, and histological analysis. The expression levels of proinflammatory cytokine proteins in colon were examined by ELISA. The homing of hUC-MSCs was studied by live in vivo imaging and immunofluorescent microscopy. hUC-MSCs were found to migrate to the inflamed colon and effectively treated the colitic mice with improved clinical and pathological signs. The levels of IL-17 and IL-23 as well as IFN-γ and IL-6 were significantly lower in the colon tissues of the hUC-MSC-treated mice in comparison with the vehicle-treated mice. Coculture experiments showed that hUC-MSCs not only could inhibit IFN-γ expression but also significantly inhibit IL-17 production by lamina propria mononuclear cells (LPMCs) or splenocytes of the colitic mice or by those isolated from normal animals and stimulated with IL-23. Systemically infused hUC-MSCs could home to the inflamed colon and effectively ameliorate colitis. In addition to the known suppressive effects on Th1-type immune responses, hUC-MSC-mediated modulation of IL-23/IL-17 regulated inflammatory reactions also plays an important role in the amelioration of colitis.

Keywords: Colitis; IL-17; Immunosuppression; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Institute of Hematology & Hospital of Blood Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College (CAMS&PUMC), Tianjin, PR China

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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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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