Treatment of collagen-induced arthritis using immune modulatory properties of human mesenchymal stem cells

Kyu Hyung Park, Chin Hee Mun, Mi Il Kang, Sang Won Lee, Soo Kon Lee, Yong Beom Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have immune modulatory properties. We investigated the potential therapeutic effects of human bone marrow (BM)-, adipose tissue (AD)-, and cord blood (CB)-derived MSCs in an experimental animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and explored the mechanism underlying immune modulation by MSCs. We evaluated the therapeutic effect of clinically available human BM-, AD-, and CB-derived MSCs in DBA/1 mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). CIA mice were injected intraperitoneally with three types of MSCs. Treatment control animals were injected with 35 mg/kg methotrexate (MTX) twice weekly. Clinical activity in CIA mice, degree of inflammation, cytokine expression in the joint, serum cytokine levels, and regulatory T cells (Tregs) were evaluated. Mice treated with human BM-, AD-, and CB-MSCs showed significant improvement in clinical joint score, comparable to MTX-treated mice. Histologic examination showed greatly reduced joint inflammation and damage in MSC-treated mice compared with untreated mice. Microcomputed tomography also showed little joint damage in the MSC-treated group. MSCs significantly decreased serum interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6, and interferon-γ and increased IL-10 and transforming growth factor-β levels. Tregs were increased in mice treated with MSCs compared to untreated or MTXtreated mice. Human BM-, AD-, and CB-MSCs significantly suppressed joint inflammation in CIA mice. The cells decreased proinflammatory cytokines and upregulated anti-inflammatory cytokines and induced Tregs. Therefore, our study suggests that the use of human BM-, AD-, and CB-MSCs could be an effective therapeutic approach for RA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1072
Number of pages16
JournalCell transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Cognizant, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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