Human mesenchymal stem cell transplantation extends survival, improves motor performance and decreases neuroinflammation in mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
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.
Article: The Immunomodulatory and Neuroprotective Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE): A Model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that differentiate into the mesenchymal lineages of adipocytes, osteocytes and chondrocytes. MSCs can also transdifferentiate and thereby cross lineage barriers, differentiating for example into neurons under certain experimental conditions. MSCs have anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects on neurons. Therefore, MSCs were tested in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), for their effectiveness in modulating the pathogenic process in EAE to develop effective therapies for MS. The data in the literature have shown that MSCs can inhibit the functions of autoreactive T cells in EAE and that this immunomodulation can be neuroprotective. In addition, MSCs can rescue neural cells via a mechanism that is mediated by soluble factors, which provide a suitable environment for neuron regeneration, remyelination and cerebral blood flow improvement. In this review, we discuss the effectiveness of MSCs in modulating the immunopathogenic process and in providing neuroprotection in EAE.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2012; 13(7):9298-331. · 2.60 Impact Factor
Article: Intravenous mesenchymal stem cells improve survival and motor function in experimental amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite some advances in the understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenesis, significant achievements in treating this disease are still lacking. Mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (MSCs) have been shown to be effective in several models of neurological disease. To determine the effects of the intravenous injection of MSCs in an ALS mouse model during the symptomatic stage of disease, MSCs (1 × 10⁶) were intravenously injected in mice expressing human superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) carrying the G93A mutation (SOD1/G93A) presenting with experimental ALS. Survival, motor abilities, histology, oxidative stress markers and [³H]D-aspartate release in the spinal cord were investigated. MSC injection in SOD1/G93A mice improved survival and motor functions compared with saline-injected controls. Injected MSCs scantly home to the central nervous system and poorly engraft. We observed a reduced accumulation of ubiquitin agglomerates and of activated astrocytes and microglia in the spinal cord of MSC-treated SOD1/G93A mice, with no changes in the number of choline acetyltransferase- and glutamate transporter type 1-positive cells. MSC administration turned around the upregulation of metallothionein mRNA expression and of the activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione S-transferase, both associated with disease progression. Last, we observed that MSCs reverted both spontaneous and stimulus-evoked neuronal release of [³H]D-aspartate, a marker of endogenous glutamate, which is upregulated in SOD1/G93A mice. These findings suggest that intravenous administration of MSCs significantly improves the clinical outcome and pathological scores of mutant SOD1/G93A mice, thus providing the rationale for their exploitation for the treatment of ALS.Molecular Medicine 04/2012; 18(1):794-804. · 3.76 Impact Factor
Article: Myogenic potential of whole bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in vitro and in vivo for usage in urinary incontinence.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Urinary incontinence, defined as the complaint of any involuntary loss of urine, is a pathological condition, which affects 30% females and 15% males over 60, often following a progressive decrease of rhabdosphincter cells due to increasing age or secondary to damage to the pelvic floor musculature, connective tissue and/or nerves. Recently, stem cell therapy has been proposed as a source for cell replacement and for trophic support to the sphincter. To develop new therapeutic strategies for urinary incontinence, we studied the interaction between mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and muscle cells in vitro; thereafter, aiming at a clinical usage, we analyzed the supporting role of MSCs for muscle cells in vitro and in in vivo xenotransplantation. MSCs can express markers of the myogenic cell lineages and give rise, under specific cell culture conditions, to myotube-like structures. Nevertheless, we failed to obtain mixed myotubes both in vitro and in vivo. For in vivo transplantation, we tested a new protocol to collect human MSCs from whole bone marrow, to get larger numbers of cells. MSCs, when transplanted into the pelvic muscles close to the external urethral sphincter, survived for a long time in absence of immunosuppression, and migrated into the muscle among fibers, and towards neuromuscular endplates. Moreover, they showed low levels of cycling cells, and did not infiltrate blood vessels. We never observed formation of cell masses suggestive of tumorigenesis. Those which remained close to the injection site showed an immature phenotype, whereas those in the muscle had more elongated morphologies. Therefore, MSCs are safe and can be easily transplanted without risk of side effects in the pelvic muscles. Further studies are needed to elucidate their integration into muscle fibers, and to promote their muscular transdifferentiation either before or after transplantation.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e45538. · 4.09 Impact Factor