Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Inhibiting the Fibrosis and Autoimmune Development in HOCl-Induced Systemic Scleroderma Mouse Model

Int J Stem Cells. 2021 Aug 30;14(3):262-274. doi: 10.15283/ijsc20002.

Abstract

Background and objectives: Systemic scleroderma (SSc) is a rare and serious connective tissue disease, an autoimmune disease, and a rare refractory disease. In this study, preventive effect of single systemic human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) transfusion on SSc was preliminarily explored.

Methods and results: SSc mouse model was established by daily intradermal injection of Hypochlorite (HOCl). SSc mice were treated by single transfusion of UC-MSCs at 0.625×105, 2.5×105 and 1×106 respectively. At the 42nd day of intradermal injection of HOCl, the symptoms showed up by skin and alveolar wall thickening, lymphocytic infiltration, increased collagen in skin/lung, and the increased proportion of CD3CD4CD25FoxP3 cells (a Treg subset) in spleen. After UC-MSCs transfusion, the degree of skin thickening, alveolar wall thickening and lymphocyte infiltration were decreased, the collagen sedimentation in skin/lung was decreased, and the proportion of CD3CD4CD25 FoxP3 cells was decreased.

Conclusions: UC-MSC can achieve a preventive effect in SSc mice by fibrosis attenuation and immunoregulation.

Keywords: Immunoregulation; Mesenchymal stem cells; Regulatory T cell; Systemic scleroderma.