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Open Access Bone Marrow-Derived Conventional, But Not Cloned, Mesenchymal Stem Cells Suppress Lymphocyte Proliferation and Prevent Graft-Versus-Host Disease in Rats

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Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could exert a potent immunosuppressive effect, and therefore may have a therapeutic potential in T-cell-dependent pathologies. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether MSCs could be used to control graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). MSCs were isolated from Lewis rat bone morrow and then cultured in 10% FBS DMEM at 37°C for 4 weeks. The enriched conventional MSCs and macrophages were purified by auto-MACS. Cloned MSCs were obtained by cloning using the limiting dilution method and expanded up to more than 6 months. The identity of MSCs was confirmed by their typical spindle-shaped morphology and immunophenotypic criteria, based on the absence of expression of CD45 and CD11b/c molecules. Both types of MSCs were also tested for their ability to differentiate into adipocytes. We showed that MSCs, like macrophages, exhibit immunomodulatory properties capable of inhibiting T-cell proliferation stimulated by alloantigens, anti-CD3e/CD28 mAbs, and ConA in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. After performing adoptive transfer, MSCs suppressed systemic Lewis to (Lewis × DA)F1 rat GvHD. In contrast to the immunosuppressive activities of conventional MSCs, the cloned MSCs enhanced T-cell proliferation in vitro and yielded no clinical benefit in regard to the incidence or severity of GvHD. Therefore, these rat models have shown intriguing differences in the suppression effects of lymphocyte proliferation and GvHD prevention between short-term cultured conventional MSCs and cloned MSCs.

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Keywords: Allorejection; Cell-based therapy; Graft-versus-host disease; Hemopoietic stem cell transplantation; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Transplantation Immunology, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 01 February 2012

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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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