Multiple Sclerosis and Stem Cell Therapy
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis is also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata.
It is an inflammatory disease where the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged. The disease often leads to demyelination and scarring.
The disease usually appears in young adults and is more common in women. MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other.
Nerve cells communicate by sending electrical signals called action potentials down long fibers called axons, which are wrapped in an insulating substance called myelin.
In MS, the body's own immune system attacks and damages the myelin. When myelin is lost, the axons can no longer effectively conduct signals.
The name multiple sclerosis refers to scars (scleroses—better known as plaques or lesions) particularly in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord, which is mainly composed of myelin.
Although much is known about the mechanisms involved in the disease process, the cause remains unknown. There is currently no known cure for multiple sclerosis and treatments attempt to return function after an attack, prevent new attacks, and prevent disability.
Immune Reconstitution after Double Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation: Comparison with Unrelated Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation.
2011 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]
Jacobson CA, Turki AT, McDonough SM, Stevenson KE, Kim HT, Kao G, Herrera MI, Reynolds CG, Alyea EP, Ho VT, Koreth J, Armand P, Chen YB, Ballen K, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Cutler CS, Ritz J.
Source Division of Hematologic Malignancies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
Double umbilical cord blood (DUCB) transplantation is an accepted transplantation strategy for patients without suitable human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched donors. However, DUCB transplantation is associated with increased morbidity and mortality because of slow recovery of immunity and a high risk of infection. To define the differences in immune reconstitution between DUCB transplantation and HLA matched unrelated donor (MUD) transplantation, we performed a detailed, prospective analysis of immune reconstitution in 42 DUCB recipients and 102 filgrastim-mobilized unrelated peripheral blood stem cell recipients.
Reconstitution of CD3 T cells was significantly delayed in the DUCB cohort compared with the MUD cohort for 1 to 6 months posttransplantation (P < .001), including naive (CD45RO-) and memory (CD45RO+) CD4 T cells, regulatory (CD4CD25) T cells, and CD8 T cells. In contrast, CD19 B cells recovered more rapidly in the DUCB cohort and numbers remained significantly greater from 3 to 24 months after transplantation (P = .001).
CD56CD16 natural killer (NK) cells also recovered more rapidly in DUCB recipients and remained significantly greater from 1 to 24 months after transplantation. B cell activating factor (BAFF) levels were higher in the DUCB cohort at 1 month (P < .001), were similar in both cohorts at 3 and 6 months, and were lower in the DUCB cohort at 12 months (P = .002). BAFF/CD19 B cell ratios were lower in the DUCB cohort at 3 (P = .045), 6 (P = .02), and 12 months (P = .002) after transplantation. DUCB recipients had more infections within the first 100 days after transplantation (P < .001), and there was less chronic graft-versus-host disease (P < .001), but there were no differences in cumulative incidence of relapse, nonrelapse death, progression-free survival, or overall survival between the 2 groups. These results suggest that increased risk of infections is specifically associated with delayed reconstitution of all major T cell subsets, but the increased risk is limited to the first 3 months after DUCB transplantation. There is no increased risk of relapse, suggesting that graft-versus-leukemia activity is maintained. Early reconstitution of B cells and NK cells may, in part, account for these findings.
PMID: 21875503 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Adult stem cells and multiple sclerosis.
Cell Prolif. 2011 Apr;44 Suppl 1:35-8
Authors: Scolding N
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common neurological disease and a major cause of disability, particularly affecting young adults.
It is characterized by patches of damage occurring throughout the brain and spinal cord, with loss of myelin sheaths - the insulating material around nerve fibres that allows normal conduction of nerve impulses - accompanied by loss of cells that make myelin (oligodendrocytes).
In addition, we now know that there is damage to nerve cells (neurones) and their fibres (axons) too, and that this occurs both within these discrete patches and in tissue between them. The cause of MS remains unknown, but an autoimmune reaction against oligodendrocytes and myelin is generally assumed to play a major role, and early acute MS lesions almost invariably show prominent inflammation.
Efforts to develop cell therapy in MS have long been directed towards directly implanting cells capable of replacing lost oligodendrocytes and regenerating myelin sheaths.
Accordingly, the advent of techniques to generate large numbers of oligodendrocytes from embryonic stem cells appeared a significant step towards new stem cell treatments for MS; while the emerging consensus that adult stem cells from, for example, the bone marrow had far less potential to turn into oligodendrocytes was thought to cast doubt on their potential value in this disease.
A number of scientific and medical concerns, not least the risk of tumour formation associated with embryonic stem cells, have however, prevented any possible clinical testing of these cells in patients.
More recently, increasing understanding of the complexity of tissue damage in MS has emphasized that successful cell therapy may need to achieve far more than simply offering a source of replacement myelin-forming cells.
The many and varied reparative properties of bone marrow-derived (mesenchymal) stem cells may well offer new and attractive possibilities for developing cell-based treatments for this difficult and disabling condition.
PMID: 21481041 [PubMed - in process]
ABOUT PATIENTS, "INVENTORS", JOURNALISTS, SCIENTISTS AND IRBs (TO SAY NOTHING OF THE INSTITUTIONS): CCSVI AND MS.
Related Articles ABOUT PATIENTS, "INVENTORS", JOURNALISTS, SCIENTISTS AND IRBs (TO SAY NOTHING OF THE INSTITUTIONS): CCSVI AND MS. Med Law. 2014 Dec;33(4):177-87 Authors: Piga MA Abstract In this article, the Author analyzes her own experience as a member of the IRB that approved a trial to determine the efficacy of a disobstruction procedure of extracranial veins by means of angioplasty in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The so-called "liberation therapy" was proposed by an Italian vascular surgeon, who theorized a condition called "chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency" (CCSVI) as playing a role in the pathogenesis of MS. This approval, given after an animated discussion amongst IRB members, lacked any solid scientific evidence of a causal relationship between CCSVI and MS, and was accepted despite the concerns about potential risks associated with the proposed therapy. Undoubtedly, considerable pressure was exerted on IRB by MS sufferers, who rushed off to get the surgery from the many clinics who offered liberation therapy.The remaining sense of bitter has raised a reflection on how to prevent similar future cases. PMID: 27351054 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Read more...
Related Articles Erythroblastaemia in natalizumab-treated patients with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2016 Jul;8:141-4 Authors: La Gioia S, Seghezzi M, Barcella V, Dominoni P, Mecca T, Frigeni B, Conti MZ, Vedovello M, Vidali M, Rottoli M, Buoro S Abstract BACKGROUND: Natalizumab is a monoclonal antibody that significantly reduces the occurrence of relapses in relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients. Early papers on the clinical use of natalizumab in RRMS patients reported erythroblastemia as occasional and transient. OBJECTIVES: to determine the prevalence and absolute count of erythroblasts (nucleated red blood cells, NRBCs) in peripheral blood of RRMS patients in different treatment groups and healthy controls from the same geographic area using the same equipment for laboratory analysis. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated the samples of 203 consecutive RRMS patients including 26 subjects on natalizumab, 17 on fingolimod, 72 on interferon, 41 on glatiramer acetate, 47 treatment-naïve and 240 healthy controls from the same geographic area. Blood samples were processed using an XN-9000-Hematology Analyzer and subsequent microscopic verification. In the natalizumab-treated patients we performed an additional analysis in order to detect the expression of CD34+ cells in peripheral blood, as confirmation of a bone marrow mobilization. RESULTS: The prevalence of patients with NRBCs positivity was significantly higher in natalizumab-treated patients (92%) compared with the other treatment groups and healthy controls (0%) (p<0.0005). The median absolute NRBCs count was significantly higher in natalizumab-treated patients (median 0.020, p<0.0005) than in the other treatment groups and healthy controls. Natalizumab-treated patients also had higher levels of white blood cells than all other groups and lower haemoglobin levels than healthy subjects (p<0.01), but no morphologic alterations were evident at a subsequent review of red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. CD34+ cells levels were consistent with mobilization of haematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow (median 8 cells/µL, IQR 5-12). CONCLUSIONS: We confirm erythroblastaemia as a frequent finding of natalizumab treatment in RRMS patients. More extended knowledge and adequate long-term observation of this phenomenon are essential to better understand any pathological implication. PMID: 27456890 [PubMed - in process]Read more...
Related Articles Autoantibodies against glutamate receptor δ2 after allogenic stem cell transplantation. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2016 Aug;3(4):e255 Authors: Miske R, Hahn S, Rosenkranz T, Müller M, Dettmann IM, Mindorf S, Denno Y, Brakopp S, Scharf M, Teegen B, Probst C, Melzer N, Meinck HM, Terborg C, Stöcker W, Komorowski L Abstract OBJECTIVE: To report on a Caucasian patient who developed steroid-responsive transverse myelitis, graft vs host disease of the gut, and anti-GluRδ2 after allogenic stem cell transplantation. METHODS: Histoimmunoprecipitation (HIP) with the patient's serum and cryosections of rat and porcine cerebellum followed by mass spectrometry was used to identify the autoantigen. Correct identification was verified by indirect immunofluorescence using recombinant GluRδ2 expressed in HEK293 cells. RESULTS: The patient's serum produced a granular staining of the cerebellar molecular layer (immunoglobulin G1 and immunoglobulin G3; endpoint titer: 1:1,000) but did not react with other CNS tissues or 28 established recombinant neural autoantigens. HIP revealed a unique protein band at ∼110 kDa that was identified as GluRδ2. The patient's serum also stained GluRδ2 transfected but not mock-transfected HEK293 cells. Control sera from 38 patients with multiple sclerosis, 85 patients with other neural autoantibodies, and 205 healthy blood donors were negative for anti-GluRδ2. Preadsorption with lysate from HEK293-GluRδ2 neutralized the patient's tissue reaction whereas control lysate had no effect. In addition to anti-GluRδ2, the patient's serum contained immunoglobulin G autoantibodies against the pancreatic glycoprotein CUZD1, which are known to be markers of Crohn disease. CONCLUSIONS: In the present case, the development of anti-GluRδ2 was associated with transverse myelitis, which was supposedly triggered by the stem cell transplantation. Similar to encephalitis in conjunction with anti-GluRδ2 reported in a few Japanese patients, the patient's neurologic symptoms ameliorated after steroid therapy. PMID: 27458598 [PubMed]Read more...