"The immunological attributes of MAPCs make them a promising candidate for providing immunomodulatory support after organ transplantation," explained
Most other cell therapy trials have used cells of either the organ donor or recipient. However, the preparation of such customized cell therapies is costly and challenging, since it must be done one patient at a time, and can lead to inconsistent results. With this in mind, the Dahlke team decided to explore the potential of a third-party-derived MAPC to act as a universal donor. This is the approach being taken clinically by
When long-term accepted heart grafts were recovered from the MAPC-treated animals and re-transplanted into yet another group of untreated animals (genetically identical to the first group of recipients), they engrafted successfully, without triggering rejection, even when no immune suppressive drug was administered. This finding demonstrates that an immunoprivileged state, or "regional immune tolerance," had been induced in the graft that can be carried into another untreated animal.
"In the group with no treatment, the grafts were rejected in less than two weeks; short-term immunosuppressive drug treatments kept them intact just a few days longer. However, rats given a combination of short-term immunosuppressive treatment and MAPCs exhibited a high percentage of prolonged survival, even after treatment with immune suppressive drugs was stopped, indicating a promising pathway for clinical immunotherapy," Dr. Dahlke commented. "If transplantation procedures could be conducted with lower requirements for immunosuppressive drugs, this could provide a substantial benefit to patients, and could also broaden the impact of transplantation medicine, helping many more patients and providing a better quality of life."
The research effort was led by a team of renowned transplant specialists at the
"This pioneering work demonstrates that MultiStem may have broad relevance in the field of clinical transplantation by addressing several of the major hurdles that represent real challenges for patients," said Dr.
The full article, "Heart grafts tolerized through third-party Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells can be re-transplanted to secondary hosts with no immunosuppression," can be accessed at: http://www.stemcellstm.com/content.
MultiStem cell therapy is a patented regenerative medicine product that has shown the ability to promote tissue repair and healing in a variety of ways, such as through the production of multiple therapeutic factors produced in response to signals of inflammation and tissue damage. MultiStem has demonstrated therapeutic potential for the treatment of inflammatory and immune disorders, neurological conditions, and cardiovascular disease, as well as other areas, and represents a unique "off-the-shelf" stem cell product that can be manufactured in a scalable manner, may be stored for years in frozen form, and is administered without tissue matching or the need for immune suppression. The product is extensively characterized for safety, consistency and potency. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships with Pfizer Inc. to develop MultiStem for inflammatory bowel disease and is also being evaluated as a novel therapeutic approach for certain neurological and cardiovascular conditions.
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