Immunosuppressive effects of mesenchymal stem cells on tacrolimus therapy in rat heart transplant model

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Junshi Doi Yasuhiro Fujimoto Takumi Teratani Naoya Kasahara Masashi Maeda Tatsuaki Tsuruyama Shinji Uemoto Eiji Kobayashi


Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are used in various clinical settings for effective cell therapy by taking advantage of their immunomodulatory, regenerative, and anti-inflammatory properties. We previously investigated the effects of the regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties of MSCs for consideration of their clinical application in organ transplantation. Since immunosuppressant agents are administered in nearly all clinical cases of organ transplantation, clarification of the immunological interaction between MSCs and the calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus (TAC) is needed.

Aim: Due to potential use of MSCs in organ transplantation, we assessed immunological interactions between TAC and MSCs in vivo.

Methods: Adipose tissue-derived MSCs (AT-MSCs) were obtained from wild-type Lewis rats. We then used a rat heart transplantation model to observe the immunosuppressive effects of AT-MSCs, TAC, and those in combination. Following allogeneic heterotopic heart transplantation from ACI rats to Lewis rats, graft survival was assessed in groups treated with AT-MSCs, TAC, both, or neither.

Results: Median survival of the allograft was 14.5 days in the TAC-alone group and 11 days in the MSC+TAC group. Although the difference between those groups was not significant, the survival periods of both were significantly longer as compared to that of the control (median survival =5 days, P<0.05) and MSC-alone (median survival =5 days, P<0.05) groups.

Conclusions: Administration of AT-MSCs did not decrease the beneficial immunosuppressive effect of TAC on heart graft survival. TAC appears to be compatible and effective for clinical use as an immunosuppressant with AT-MSCs.

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How to Cite
DOI, Junshi et al. Immunosuppressive effects of mesenchymal stem cells on tacrolimus therapy in rat heart transplant model. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 2, feb. 2017. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 sep. 2021.
calcineurin inhibitor, heterotopic heart transplantation model, immunomodulation, immunosuppressant, liver transplantation, mesenchymal stem cells, organ transplantation, tacrolimus
Research Articles


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