Open Access Mesenchymal Stem Cells Expressing Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Ameliorate Symptoms in a Model of Chronic Multiple Sclerosis

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Abstract:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a severe debilitating disorder characterized by progressive demyelination and axonal damage of the central nervous system (CNS). Current therapies for MS inhibit the immune response and demonstrate reasonable benefits if applied during the early phase of relapsing‐remitting MS (RRMS) while there are no treatments for patients that progress neither to the chronic phase nor for the primary progressive form of the disease. In this manuscript, we have studied the therapeutic efficacy of a cell and gene therapy strategy for the treatment of a mouse model of chronic MS [myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)]. We used allogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a therapeutic tool and also as vehicle to deliver fully processed 3.3-kDa vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) to the peripheral immune organs and to the inflamed CNS. Intraperitoneal administrations of MSCs expressing VIP stopped progression and reduced symptoms when administered at peak of disease. The improvement in clinical score correlated with diminished peripheral T-cell responses against MOG as well as lower inflammation, lower demyelination, and higher neuronal integrity in the CNS. Interestingly, neither lentiviral vectors expressing VIP nor unmodified MSCs were therapeutic when administer at the peak of disease. The increased therapeutic effect of MSCs expressing VIP over unmodified MSCs requires the immunoregulatory and neuroprotective roles of both VIP and MSCs and the ability of the MSCs to migrate to peripheral lymph organs and the inflamed CNS.

Keywords: Cell and gene therapy; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); Lentiviral vectors; Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC); Multiple sclerosis (MS); Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368912X657404

Affiliations: GENYO, Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research, Pfizer-University of Granada-Andalusian Regional Government, Parque Tecnológico Salud (PTS), Granada, Spain

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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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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