Sajic et al. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Lack Efficacy in the Treatment of Experimental Autoimmune Neuritis despite In Vitro Inhibition of T-Cell Proliferation. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e30708. Epub 2012 Feb 16.
Mesenchymal stem cells have been demonstrated to ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of MS, prompting clinical trials in MS which are currently ongoing. An important question is whether this therapeutic effect generalises to other autoimmune neurological diseases. We performed two trials of efficacy of MSCs in experimental autoimmune neuritis (EAN, an autoimmune demyelinating disease of the peripheral nervous system) in Lewis rats, a model of human autoimmune inflammatory neuropathies. No differences between the groups were found in clinical, histological or electrophysiological outcome measures. This was despite the ability of mesenchymal stem cells to inhibit proliferation of CD4+ T-cells in vitro (outside the body). Therefore the efficacy of MSCs observed in autoimmune CNS demyelination models do not necessarily generalise to the treatment of other forms of neurological autoimmunity.
"Good or bad news? Bad news if you believe MSC's are working via regulating autoimmunity in general. Most treatments that work in EAE also work with EAN. I would be interested to see how EAE in the Lewis rat responds to MSCs in these investigators hands."
"Have MSCs been overhyped? Time will tell!"