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Masahiro Omoto, Kishore R. Katikireddy, Alexandra Rezazadeh, Thomas H. Dohlman, Sunil K. Chauhan; Mesenchymal Stem Cells Home to Inflamed Ocular Surface and Suppress Allosensitization in Corneal Transplantation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(10):6631-6638. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15413.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate whether systemically injected syngeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can home to the transplanted cornea, suppress induction of alloimmunity, and promote allograft survival.
Mesenchymal stem cells were generated from bone marrow of wild-type BALB/c or GFP (green fluorescent protein)+ C57BL/6 mice, and 1 × 106 cells were intravenously injected to allografted recipients 3 hours after surgery. Mesenchymal stem cells homing to the cornea were examined at day 3 post transplantation by immunohistochemistry. MHC (major histocompatibility complex) II+CD11c+ cells were detected in the cornea and lymph nodes (LNs) 14 days post transplantation using flow cytometry. Cytokine expression of bone marrow–derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) was determined using real-time PCR. ELISPOT assay was used to assess indirect and direct host T cell allosensitization, and graft survival was evaluated by slit-lamp biomicroscopy weekly up to 8 weeks.
Intravenously injected GFP+ MSCs were found in abundance in the transplanted cornea, conjunctiva, and LNs, but not in the ungrafted (contralateral) tissue. The frequencies of mature MHC II+CD11c+ antigen-presenting cells (APCs) were substantially decreased in the corneas and draining LNs of MSC-injected allograft recipients compared to control recipients. Maturation and function of in vitro cultured BMDCs were decreased when cocultured with MSCs. Draining LNs of MSC-injected allograft recipients showed lower frequencies of IFNγ-secreting Th1 cells compared to the control group. Allograft survival rate was significantly higher in MSC-injected recipients compared to non-MSC-injected recipients.
Our data demonstrate that systemically administered MSCs specifically home to the inflamed ocular surface and promote allograft survival by inhibiting APC maturation and induction of alloreactive T cells.
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