2a). Mice receiving PBMC displayed a significant mononuclear cell infiltration, especially surrounding the hepatic ducts with endothelialitis (P < 0·0001) (Fig. 2a). MSC therapy on day 7 reduced liver pathology (P < 0·0086), with decreased cell infiltration and reduced endothelialitis selleck chemicals (Fig. 2a). Similarly, the small intestines of PBS-treated control mice appeared normal, with no sloughing of villi and no accumulation of infiltrating cells into the lamina propria (Fig. 2b). In comparison, NSG mice that received PBMC displayed blunting of villi with cell
infiltration into the lamina propria and intestinal crypts (Fig. 2b) (P < 0·0001). This was reduced significantly by human MSC therapy at day 7 (P < 0·0249). Control NSG mouse NU7441 lungs appeared normal, but PBMC delivery provoked cellular infiltration/inflammation (Fig. 2c) (P < 0·0002). In contrast to the protective effects in the liver and gut, treatment with MSC on day 7 did not ameliorate pathology in the lungs compared to aGVHD mice (Fig. 2c). Stimulation of MSC with proinflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ promotes the immunosuppressive capacity in vitro and enhances their beneficial role in treating aGVHD in vivo [32, 36], a phenomenon termed ‘licensing’. Therefore, MSC were stimulated in vitro with IFN-γ (MSCγ) for 48 h prior to administration to NSG mice on day 0 in the aGVHD model. MSCγ therapy reduced aGVHD-related weight loss and pathology
(Fig. 1d,e), while significantly increasing the survival time of mice with aGVHD (P < 0·0015) in comparison to mice that had not received MSC therapy (Fig. 1f). MSCγ therapy on day 0 reduced aGVHD pathology of the liver significantly (P < 0·0163), reducing cell infiltration and endothelialitis (Fig. 2a). IFN-γ stimulated MSC also reduced gut pathology with reduced cell infiltration and significantly less tissue damage to villi (P < 0·0142) (Fig. 2b), similar in extent to non-stimulated L-gulonolactone oxidase MSC therapy at day 7. However, as seen earlier, MSCγ therapy did not ameliorate the pathology observed in the lung
(Fig. 2c). A simple explanation for the observation above could be that human MSC therapy reduces human PBMC engraftment in the NSG model. To exclude this possibility, the numbers of human CD45+ cells and the ratios of CD4/CD8 T cells were investigated in the above model. IFN-γ-stimulated human MSC therapy on day 0 or non-stimulated MSC therapy on day 7 did not affect the engraftment of human CD45+ cells (Fig. 3a). Human CD4 and CD8 T cells were detectable in the spleens of NSG mice following human PBMC infusion, but MSC therapy (IFN-γ-stimulated or not) did not prevent the engraftment of human T cells or significantly alter the CD4 : CD8 ratio (Fig. 3b). In support of this observation, the levels of human IL-2 in the sera of NSG mice following PBMC infusion was not significantly altered by MSC therapy (Fig. 3c), indicating that MSC therapy did not hinder effector cell engraftment.