Co-graft of allogeneic immune regulatory neural stem cells (NPC) and pancreatic islets mediates tolerance, while inducing NPC-derived tumors in mice

Raffaella Melzi, Barbara Antonioli, Alessia Mercalli, Manuela Battaglia, Andrea Valle, Stefano Pluchino, Rossella Galli, Valeria Sordi, Emanuele Bosi, Gianvito Martino, Ezio Bonifacio, Claudio Doglioni, Lorenzo Piemonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10357
JournalPLoS One
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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