Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have immune modulatory properties. We investigated the potential therapeutic effects of human bone marrow (BM)-, adipose tissue (AD)-, and cord blood (CB)-derived MSCs in an experimental animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and explored the mechanism underlying immune modulation by MSCs. We evaluated the therapeutic effect of clinically available human BM-, AD-, and CB-derived MSCs in DBA/1 mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). CIA mice were injected intraperitoneally with three types of MSCs. Treatment control animals were injected with 35 mg/kg methotrexate (MTX) twice weekly. Clinical activity in CIA mice, degree of inflammation, cytokine expression in the joint, serum cytokine levels, and regulatory T cells (Tregs) were evaluated. Mice treated with human BM-, AD-, and CB-MSCs showed significant improvement in clinical joint score, comparable to MTX-treated mice. Histologic examination showed greatly reduced joint inflammation and damage in MSC-treated mice compared with untreated mice. Microcomputed tomography also showed little joint damage in the MSC-treated group. MSCs significantly decreased serum interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6, and interferon-γ and increased IL-10 and transforming growth factor-β levels. Tregs were increased in mice treated with MSCs compared to untreated or MTXtreated mice. Human BM-, AD-, and CB-MSCs significantly suppressed joint inflammation in CIA mice. The cells decreased proinflammatory cytokines and upregulated anti-inflammatory cytokines and induced Tregs. Therefore, our study suggests that the use of human BM-, AD-, and CB-MSCs could be an effective therapeutic approach for RA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Cell Biology