Another type of stem cell that could hold potential for rheumatoid arthritis treatment… next
Umbilical cord stem cells may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Cord stem cells have enormous potential in the ever expanding field of regenerative medicine. Animal and in vitro experiments have shown that MSCs taken from umbilical cord blood can suppress inflammation and attenuate collagen-induced arthritis.
Study leader professor Zhanguo Li said, “Very little is known about umbilical cord MSCs, and there has been no previous report about their use in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. MSCs can exert profound immunosuppression, which encourages their use in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. At present, the most common source of MSCs has been bone marrow. However, aspirating bone marrow is an invasive procedure and the number and the differentiating potential of bone marrow MSCs decrease with age. In contrast, the collection of umbilical cord MSCs does not require any invasive procedure”.
The researchers took immune cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients and showed that the umbilical MSCs were able to suppress the cells’ proliferation, invasive behavior and inflammatory responses. Systemic infusion of the umbilical MSCs into mice was shown to significantly reduce the severity of collagen-induced arthritis. Speaking about the results, Professor Li said, “rheumatoid arthritis imparts a massive burden on health services worldwide and none of the currently used agents reaches long term drug-free remission. Therefore, a new and more effective therapy for rheumatoid arthritis will be very welcome”.
Comment: Interesting concept.