Indexed on: 04 Mar '18Published on: 25 Jan '18Published in: Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Although advances have been made in the treatment of MS, such as the use of IFN-β, glucocorticoids and stem cells, the therapeutic effects of these treatments are not sufficient. In the present study, we evaluated whether the combination of methylprednisolone (MP) and human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) could enhance the therapeutic effectiveness in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for MS. EAE was induced by immunizing C57BL/6 mice with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 (MOG 35-55). The immunized mice received an intraperitoneal injection of MP (20 mg/kg), an intravenous injection of BM-MSCs (1 × 106 cells) or both on day 14 after immunization. Combination treatment significantly ameliorated the clinical symptoms, along with attenuating inflammatory infiltration and demyelination, compared to either treatment alone. Secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-17) was significantly reduced, and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-10) was significantly increased by the combination treatment as compared to either treatment alone. Flow cytometry analysis of MOG-reactivated T cells in spleen showed that combination treatment reduced the number of CD4+CD45+ and CD8+ T cells, and increased the number of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells. Furthermore, combination treatment enhanced apoptosis in MOG-reactivated CD4+ T cells, a key cellular subset in MS pathogenesis. Combination treatment with MP and BM-MSCs provides a novel treatment protocol for enhancing therapeutic effects in MS.