An important corollary to the recent advances in our understanding of the primary cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is the validation of genuine genetic homologues as animal models of the disease in which potential therapies can be tested. The persistent skeletal muscle necrosis that characterizes human Duchenne muscular dystrophy is also seen in the mdx mouse and is, in both, a consequence of a deficiency of dystrophin, probably within the muscle fibres themselves. As injected muscle precursor cells of one genotype can fuse with host muscle fibres of a different genotype and express the donor genes, we decided to test grafts of normal muscle precursor cells to see if they could induce synthesis of dystrophin in innately dystrophin-deficient mdx muscle fibres. We show that injected normal muscle precursor cells can fuse with pre-existing or regenerating mdx muscle fibres to render many of these fibres dystrophin-positive and so to partially or wholly rescue them from their biochemical defect.
"Indeed, these double-knockout mice display a more severe as well as rapidly progressing phenotype and a greatly reduced life span. In order to allow human cell transplantation for preclinical studies, immunocompromised mdx mouse strains have been created, such as mdx nude mice (Partridge et al., 1989) and NOD/Rag1nullmdx5cv mice (Lapan et al., 2012). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: More than 40% of the body mass is represented by muscle tissue, which possesses the innate ability to regenerate after damage through the activation of muscle-specific stem cells, namely satellite cells. Muscle diseases, in particular chronic degenerative states of skeletal muscle such as dystrophies, lead to a perturbation of the regenerative process, which causes the premature exhaustion of satellite cell reservoir due to continuous cycles of degeneration/regeneration. Nowadays, the research is focused on different therapeutic approaches, ranging from gene and cell to pharmacological therapy, but still there is no definitive cure in particular for genetic muscle disease. Keeping this in mind, in this article, we will give special consideration to muscle diseases and the use of fetal derived stem cells as a new approach for therapy. Cells of fetal origin, from cord blood to placenta and amniotic fluid, can be easily obtained without ethical concern, expanded and differentiated in culture, and possess immune-modulatory properties. The in vivo approach in animal models can be helpful to study the mechanism underneath the operating principle of the stem cell reservoir, namely the niche, which holds great potential to understand the onset of muscle pathologies.
"Following the promising results observed in mdx mice , a number of clinical trials in the early 1990s tested allogeneic transplantation of myoblasts to treat muscular dystrophies (reviewed in [7, 12]). Unfortunately, the outcome was disappointing due to the limited or absent dystrophin expression and to the limited gain in muscle strength of treated patients . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treating muscle disorders poses several challenges to the rapidly evolving field of regenerative medicine. Considerable progress has been made in isolating, characterizing, and expanding myogenic stem cells and, although we are now envisaging strategies to generate very large numbers of transplantable cells (e.g., by differentiating induced pluripotent stem cells), limitations directly linked to the interaction between transplanted cells and the host will continue to hamper a successful outcome. Among these limitations, host inflammatory and immune responses challenge the critical phases after cell delivery, including engraftment, migration, and differentiation. Therefore, it is key to study the mechanisms and dynamics that impair the efficacy of cell transplants in order to develop strategies that can ultimately improve the outcome of allogeneic and autologous stem cell therapies, in particular for severe disease such as muscular dystrophies. In this review we provide an overview of the main players and issues involved in this process and discuss potential approaches that might be beneficial for future regenerative therapies of skeletal muscle.
BioMed Research International 06/2014; 2014(4):964010. DOI:10.1155/2014/964010 · 3.17 Impact Factor
"Myoblast transplantation is a cell-based therapy that aims to restore the normal structure of pathogenic muscle and to provide a source of stem cells for muscle repair, and is regarded as a unique way to deliver genes for therapeutic purposes [26,27]. In the present study, we used the fluorescent imaging in combination with histological observation to show that GFP plays a critical role in the immunorejection response to transplanted GFP-labeled myoblasts. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a useful biomarker, widely used in biomedical research to track stem cells after transplantation and/or to assess therapeutic transgene expression. However, both GFP and therapeutic gene products themselves may be immunogenic to the recipient. The main aim of this study was to use animal models to evaluate potential impact of GFP on the cell engraftment and to optimize tracking strategies prior to transplantation.
By using a fluorescent imaging (FLI) system, we investigated the dynamic cell behavior of GFP-transduced myoblasts in tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of immunocompetent mdx mice and immuno-compromised nude mice over a period of three months. The results suggested an apparent underlying host immunorejection in the mdx mice. Dystrophin immunostaining showed that the engraftment of wild type myoblasts was much more effective than that of the GFP-labeled counterparts in the mdx mice, further confirming an antigen role of GFP in this process. We tracked the GFP-transduced myoblasts in C57BL/6 mice and found GFP to be minimally immunogenic in these animals, as indicated by the GFP signal maintaining a much stronger level than that found in mdx and BALB/c mice at parallel time points. We also compared the in vivo cell behavior differences between myoblasts from virally GFP-transduced and GFP transgenic mice. The latter displayed much better engraftment, as determined both biomaging and histological observations.
Our results not only demonstrated the immunogenicity of GFP in immunocompetent mice, but determined the optimized conditions for GFP-based in vivo stem cells tracking, that can potentially be extrapolated to human biomedical research.
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