Human mesenchymal stem cell transplantation extends survival, improves motor performance and decreases neuroinflammation in mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Department of Anatomy, Pharmacology and Forensic Medicine, National Institute of Neuroscience, Italy; Department of Pediatrics, Regina Margherita Children's Hospital, University of Turin, Italy; Neurologic Clinic, Ospedale Maggiore, Novara, Italy
Neurobiology of Disease (Impact Factor: 5.62). 07/2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2008.05.016

ABSTRACT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal disease affecting motoneurons. In familial ALS, patients bear mutations in the superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1). We transplanted human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) into the lumbar spinal cord of asymptomatic SOD1G93A mice, an experimental model of ALS. hMSCs were found in the spinal cord 10 weeks after, sometimes close to motoneurons and were rarely GFAP- or MAP2-positive. In females, where progression is slower than in males, astrogliosis and microglial activation were reduced and motoneuron counts with the optical fractionator were higher following transplantation. Motor tests (Rotarod, Paw Grip Endurance, neurological examination) were significantly improved in transplanted males. Therefore hMSCs are a good candidate for ALS cell therapy: they can survive and migrate after transplantation in the lumbar spinal cord, where they prevent astrogliosis and microglial activation and delay ALS-related decrease in the number of motoneurons, thus resulting in amelioration of the motor performance.

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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the neuromuscular system and does not have a known singular cause. Genetic mutations, extracellular factors, non-neuronal support cells, and the immune system have all been shown to play varied roles in clinical and pathological disease progression. The therapeutic plasticity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may be well matched to this complex disease pathology, making MSCs strong candidates for cellular therapy in ALS. In this review, we summarize a variety of explored mechanisms by which MSCs play a role in ALS progression, including neuronal and non-neuronal cell replacement, trophic factor delivery, and modulation of the immune system. Currently relevant techniques for applying MSC therapy in ALS are discussed, focusing in particular on delivery route and cell source. We include examples from in vitro, preclinical, and clinical investigations to elucidate the remaining progress that must be made to understand and apply MSCs as a treatment for ALS.
    Stem Cell Research & Therapy 03/2014; 5(32). · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background aims Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), after intraparenchymal, intrathecal and endovenous administration, have been previously tested for cell therapy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the SOD1 (superoxide dismutase 1) mouse. However, every administration route has specific pros and cons. Methods We administrated human MSCs (hMSCs) in the cisterna lumbaris, which is easily accessible and could be used in outpatient surgery, in the SOD1 G93A mouse, at the earliest onset of symptoms. Control animals received saline injections. Motor behavior was checked starting from 2 months of age until the mice were killed. Animals were killed 2 weeks after transplantation; lumbar motoneurons were stereologically counted, astrocytes and microglia were analyzed and quantified after immunohistochemistry and cytokine expression was assayed by means of real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results We provide evidence that this route of administration can exert strongly positive effects. Motoneuron death and motor decay were delayed, astrogliosis was reduced and microglial activation was modulated. In addition, hMSC transplantation prevented the downregulation of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-10, as well as that of vascular endothelial growth factor observed in saline-treated transgenic mice compared with wild type, and resulted in a dramatic increase in the expression of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-13. Conclusions Our results suggest that hMSCs, when intracisternally administered, can exert their paracrine potential, influencing the inflammatory response of the host.
    Cytotherapy 08/2014; · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), characterized by the progressive loss of both upper and lower motor neurons, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. This disease is often accompanied by a tremendous physical and emotional burden not only for the patients, but also for their families and friends as well. There is no clinically relevant treatment available for ALS. To date, only one Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug, Riluzole, licensed 18 years ago, has been proven to marginally prolong patients' survival without improving the quality of their lives. Because of the lack of an effective drug treatment and the promising outcomes from several preclinical studies, researchers have highlighted this disease as a suitable candidate for stem cell therapy. This review article highlights the finding of key preclinical studies that present a rationale for the use of different types of stem cells for the treatment of ALS, and the most recent updates on the stem cell-based ALS clinical trials around the world.
    Neurology India 05/2014; 62(3):239-48. · 1.08 Impact Factor


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Oct 14, 2014