Donor and Recipient Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Rat Lung Transplantation

Transplant Proc. 2022 Sep;54(7):1998-2007. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2022.05.038. Epub 2022 Aug 28.


Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are beginning to be proven as immunosuppressant in the field of organ transplantation. However, the effects of MSC origin (donor or recipient) on immunosuppression are not clear. Hence, we investigated the effects of recipient and donor adipose-derived MSCs (ADMSCs) on immunosuppression in a rat lung transplantation model.

Methods: Subjects were divided into no treatment, tacrolimus administration, recipient ADMSC administration, donor ADMSC administration, and mixed donor and recipient ADMSC administration groups. ADMSC-administered groups were also treated with tacrolimus. Histologic study, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and polymerase chain reaction were used for various analyses.

Results: Fluorescently labeled ADMSCs were predominant in the grafted donor lung, but not in the recipient lung, on day 5. On day 7, the pathologic rejection grades of the grafted donor lung were significantly lower in the ADMSC-administered groups (P < .05) and did not differ among these groups. Although serum hepatocyte growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor levels did not differ among the groups, interleukin 10 level was slightly higher in the ADMSC-administered groups. The numbers of infiltrating regulatory T cells in the grafted lung were significantly higher in the ADMSC-administered groups (P < .05) but did not differ with cell origin. Transcriptional analysis suggested interleukin 6 suppression to be the main overlapping immunosuppressive mechanism, regardless of origin. Therefore, a donor or recipient origin may not influence the immunosuppressive efficacy of ADMSCs in our rat lung transplantation model.

Conclusions: Collectively, the results indicate that allogenic ADMSCs, regardless of their origin, may exert similar immunosuppressive effects in clinical organ transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Animals
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation* / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Tacrolimus / pharmacology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Tacrolimus
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Immunosuppressive Agents