Mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing interleukin-10 attenuate collagen-induced arthritis in mice.

Clin Exp Immunol. 2008 Aug;153(2):269-76
Authors: Choi JJ, Yoo SA, Park SJ, Kang YJ, Kim WU, Oh IH, Cho CS

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the inherent ability to migrate to multiple organs and to exert immunosuppressive activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-arthritogenic effects of interleukin (IL)-10-transduced MSCs (IL-10-MSC) on the development of inflammatory arthritis. DBA/1 mice were immunized with type II collagen (CII) to induce inflammatory arthritis and then injected weekly three times with IL-10-MSCs 21 days after primary immunization. Control mice received vehicle or MSCs alone. Serum anti-CII antibody and T cell response to CII were determined. The results showed that cultured IL-10-MSCs were able to secrete high amounts of IL-10 in vitro. Injection of IL-10-MSCs decreased the severity of arthritis significantly. However, there was no difference in arthritis severity between mice treated with MSC and vehicle alone. Anti-CII antibody titres in the sera and T cell proliferative response to CII in lymph node cells were decreased significantly in mice treated with IL-10-MSCs compared with vehicle-treated mice. Serum IL-6 level was also decreased by the administration of IL-10-MSCs. In contrast, spleen cells of IL-10-MSC-treated mice produced higher amounts of IL-4 than those of control mice. Interestingly, although not as potent as IL-10-MSCs, injection of naive MSCs alone decreased serum levels of IL-6 and anti-CII antibody, while increasing IL-4 production from cultured splenic cells. Taken together, systemic administration of genetically modified MSCs overexpressing IL-10 inhibits experimental arthritis not only by suppressing autoimmune response to CII but also by regulating cytokine production, and thus would be a new strategy for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

PMID: 18713142 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]