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Open Access Allogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation Ameliorates Nephritis in Lupus Mice Via Inhibition of B-Cell Activation

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Recent evidence indicates that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) possess immunosuppressive properties both in vitro and in vivo. We have previously demonstrated that transplantation of human MSCs can significantly improve the autoimmune conditions in MRL/lpr mice. The current study aimed to determine the mechanisms by which murine BM-MSC transplantation (MSCT) ameliorates nephritis in MRL/lpr mice. In this study, we found that MSCT can significantly prolong the survival of MRL/lpr mice. Eight weeks after transplantation, MSCT-treated mice showed significantly smaller spleens than control animals, with fewer marginal zones (MZs), T1, T2, activated B-cells, and plasma cells. Moreover, serum levels of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) and IL-10 in MSCT-treated mice decreased significantly compared to those in the control group, while levels of serum TGF-β were increased. Notably, decreased BAFF expression in both spleen and kidney was accompanied by decreased production of anti-dsDNA autoantibodies and proteinuria in MSCT-treated mice. Since BAFF is mainly expressed by T-cells and dendritic cells, we incubated BM-MSCs and DCs together and found that the production of BAFF by DCs was suppressed by MSCs. Thus, our findings suggest that MSCT may suppress the excessive activation of B-cells via inhibition of BAFF production in MRL/lpr mice.
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Keywords: B lymphocyte; B-cell activating factor; Mesenchymal stem cells; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-12-23

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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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