Researchers provide evidence for the use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for treating inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disabling disease caused by a dysregulated immune response in the gut. Significant progress has been made in treating IBD with immune modulatory drugs, but there remains a need for new therapeutic approaches to manage the disease with fewer side effects and longer duration of action.
Cell therapy using MSCs has emerged as a promising strategy for managing IBD and there have been reports showing its positive effect on preclinical animal models. However, several challenges remain in the application of MSC therapy as a viable option for managing IBD in humans. Few of these challenges include, variability in the source of MSCs, donor age and donor-to-donor intrinsic MSC variability. Thus, any strategy to obtain uniformity in the MSC cell source would be a positive step forward for its clinical application.
Once such strategy is to use MSC derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and there have been reports demonstrating the phenotypic and functional similarities between iPSC-derived MSC (iMSC) and MSCs derived from bone marrow or adipose-tissue.
In the present study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine, researchers at the Colorado State University investigated the effectiveness of iMSC in treating IBD, using a widely used mouse model of IBD, the DSS-induced colitis model. Results showed that iMSCs were as effective as adipose-derived MSC (adMSC) for treating colitis in mice in terms of ameliorating clinical signs of colitis and stimulating intestinal healing. The team also investigated the mechanisms by which iMSCs ameliorated the intestinal abnormalities in IBD. Data showed that MSCs induced an indirect stimulatory effect on intestinal healing and angiogenesis, and it also normalized the intestinal microbiome.
The study also reported that repeated systemic MSC injections were required to maintain the long-term therapeutic effect suggesting a relatively short duration of action following a single MSC administration.
These findings provide preliminary evidence for the use of systemically administered iMSC as a more uniform and sustainable source of cells for IBD cellular therapy.
Source: Soontararak S et al., Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) Equivalent to Adipose-Derived MSC in Promoting Intestinal Healing and Microbiome Normalization in Mouse Inflammatory Bowel Disease Model. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, April 2018. DOI