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Biomed Res Ther. 2016; 3(12): 1018-1033

Xenotransplantation of human umbilical cord derived stem cells for treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus in mice

Loan Thi-Tung Dang, Anh Nguyen-Tu Bui, Cong Le-Thanh Nguyen, Nhat Chau Truong, Anh Thi-Van Bui, Phuong Thi-Bich Le, Ngoc Kim Phan.


Introduction: Type 1 diabetes mellitus disease (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which pancreatic islets are attacked by the host’s immune system. Although this disease can be treated using some of the current methods, resistance to therapy can develop over time after a long usage of the treatments. Therefore, new strategies to treat T1D have been suggested. This study aims to treat T1D using a new approach to target this autoimmune disease; the approach involves the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to induce immune modulation.

Methods: Umbilical cord derived MSCs (UC-MSCs) were evaluated in this study. The cells were confirmed to be MSCs by surface profile markers and by in vitro differentiation potential into osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondroblasts. The MSCs were evaluated in a Type 1 diabetic mouse model (induced by streptozotocin (STZ)); MSCs were xenografted at a dose of 2.106 cells per mouse in 100 uL of saline. T1D mice injected with saline were used as placebo. Mice were monitored for body weight, blood glucose, blood insulin, glucose tolerance test and pancreas histological analysis.

Results: Results showed that UC-MSC xenotransplantation could improve diabetes in mice. Mouse body weight significantly increased after 6 weeks of treatment. Blood glucose levels markedly decreased while blood insulin levels strongly increased towards normal range. Recovery of the insulin positive Langerhans cells was confirmed by histological analysis.

Conclusion: Overall, our findings suggest that UC-MSC transplantation is a promising therapy for T1D treatment.

Key words: Immune modulation; Mesenchymal stem cells; Modulatist; Stem cell therapy; Type 1 diabetes mellitus

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