Establishing a tree shrew model of systemic lupus erythematosus and cell transplantation treatment

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2016 Aug 24;7(1):121. doi: 10.1186/s13287-016-0385-1.


Background: The establishment of a tree shrew model for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) provides a new method to evaluate the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

Methods: Eighty tree shrews were randomly divided into four groups receiving either an intraperitoneal injection of pristane, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or pristane and LPS, or no injection. Three weeks after injection, the SLE model tree shrews were divided into the model group and the treatment group. Tree shrews in the treatment group and the normal control group were infused with umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs). The cells were labeled with DiR. Two weeks after transplantation, three groups of tree shrews were analyzed for urine protein, serum antinuclear antibodies and antiphospholipid, and inflammatory cytokine antibody microarray detection. The heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidney were collected from the three groups and subjected to hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and detection of renal immune complex deposition.

Results: HE staining indicated pathology in the model group. Red fluorescence revealed immune complex deposition in the kidneys from the model group.

Conclusions: The combined intraperitoneal injection of pristane and LPS is the best way to induce SLE pathological changes. The pathological changes improved after UC-MSC treatment.

Keywords: Animal models; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Transplantation; Tree shrews; Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / chemically induced
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / metabolism
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / pathology
  • Terpenes / pharmacology
  • Tupaiidae
  • Umbilical Cord / drug effects
  • Umbilical Cord / pathology


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Terpenes
  • pristane