Researchers of the National Yang-Ming University from Taiwan, in China, say that mesenchymal stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood can be a new therapeutic alternative for the treatment of lupus nephritis, one of the main complications of systemic lupus erythematosus.

The scientists conducted an investigation with mice, whose results are published in the latest issue of the journal Cell in Transplantation, in which it was demonstrated that these cells possess an immuno-modulating capacity that allows them to alleviate the immune response of the organism by inhibiting the inflammation and the immune response of the T cells.

The aim of the study was to analyze the therapeutic effects of this type of cells in the treatment of lupus nephritis and, to this end, the researchers used a model with mice to perform a transplant of cord blood cells, which had already demonstrated their effectiveness in the treatment of other diseases of the immune system.

Good results of stem cells against lupus

The main author of the study, Dr. Oscar K. Lee, explains that they have observed that this transplant achieves a significant delay in the deterioration of renal function, decreases the levels of certain antibodies, and relieves changes in renal pathology and development. of proteinuria, which is a sign of kidney damage.

In addition, Lee and his team were able to observe that there was a positive difference in the survival rates of the mice that were treated at two months of age, compared to those six-month-old rodents, which led them to think that a transplant early may be more effective.

The researchers also opted for the option of an allogeneic and non-autologous transplant (with cells from the same patient), in virtue of the therapeutic effects observed in this study.

"The ability of these cells to reduce inflammation shows that it is likely to be useful for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and this study supports this reasoning," adds David Eva, associate editor of Cell in Transplantation.


Stella Kourembanas, MD: Mesenchymal Stem-Cell Derived Exosomes: “Next” Therapy for BPD? (November 2019).