Background: Data available on the immunomodulatory properties of neural stem/precursor cells (NPC) support their possible use as modulators for immune-mediated process. The aim of this study was to define whether NPC administered in combination with pancreatic islets prevents rejection in a fully mismatched allograft model. Methodology/Principal Finding: Diabetic Balb/c mice were co-transplanted under the kidney capsule with pancreatic islets and GFP+ NPC from fully mismatched C57BL/6 mice. The following 4 groups of recipients were used: mice receiving islets alone; mice receiving islets alone and treated with standard immunosuppression (IL-2Rα chain mAbs + FK506 + Rapamycin); mice receiving a mixed islet/NPC graft under the same kidney capsule (Co-NPC-Tx); mice receiving the islet graft under the left kidney capsule and the NPC graft under the right kidney capsule (NPC-Tx). Our results demonstrate that only the cotransplantation and co-localization of NPC and islets (Co-NPC-Tx) induce stable long-term graft function in the absence of immunosuppression. This condition is associated with an expansion of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T regulatory cells in the spleen. Unfortunately, stable graft function was accompanied by constant and reproducible development of NPC-derived cancer mainly sustained by insulin secretion. & Conclusion: These data demonstrate that the use of NPC in combination with islets prevents graft rejection in a fully mismatched model. However, the development of NPC-derived cancer raises serious doubts about the safety of using adult stem cells in combination with insulin-producing cells outside the original microenvironment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)