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Open Access Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Injected Systemically Into GRMD Dogs Without Immunosuppression Are Able to Reach the Host Muscle and Express Human Dystrophin

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Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a lethal X-linked disorder, is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophies, affecting 1 in 3,500 male births. Mutations in the DMD gene lead to the absence of muscle dystrophin and a progressive degeneration of skeletal muscle. The possibility to treat DMD through cell therapy has been widely investigated. We have previously shown that human adipose-derived stromal cells (hASCs) injected systemically in SJL mice are able to reach and engraft in the host muscle, express human muscle proteins, and ameliorate the functional performance of injected animals without any immunosuppression. However, before starting clinical trials in humans many questions still need to be addressed in preclinical studies, in particular in larger animal models, when available. The best animal model to address these questions is the golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD) dog that reproduces the full spectrum of human DMD. Affected animals carry a mutation that predicts a premature termination codon in exon 8 and a peptide that is 5% the size of normal dystrophin. These dogs present clinical signs within the first weeks and most of them do not survive beyond age two. Here we show the results of local and intravenous injections of hASCs into GRMD dogs, without immunosuppression. We observed that hASCs injected systemically into the dog cephalic vein are able to reach, engraft, and express human dystrophin in the host GRMD dystrophic muscle up to 6 months after transplantation. Most importantly, we demonstrated that injecting a huge quantity of human mesenchymal cells in a large-animal model, without immunosuppression, is a safe procedure, which may have important applications for future therapy in patients with different forms of muscular dystrophies.

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Keywords: Human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells; Muscular dystrophy; Therapy; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Human Genome Research Center, Biosciences Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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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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