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Stromal Vascular Fraction - A New Means to Battle Severe Multiple Sclerosis?

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Review of “Adipose Stromal Vascular Fraction-Mediated Improvements at Late-Stage Disease in a Murine Model of Multiple Sclerosis” from Stem Cells by Stuart P. Atkinson

The stromal vascular fraction of adipose tissue is rich in adipose stem cells (ASCs) and exhibits anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and regenerative effects in vivo. These reasons, combined with the easy accessibility of large cells numbers, have made stromal vascular fraction cells the focal point for many regenerative strategies. 

Now, in a new Stem Cells study, researchers from the laboratory of Bruce A. Bunnell (Tulane University, New Orleans, USA) have assessed the utility of stromal vascular fraction cells in the treatment of severe cases of the autoimmune neurodegenerative disease multiple sclerosis (MS). Their findings, employing a late-stage mouse model (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis or EAE [1, 2]) in which mice show significant motor impairment, suggest that stromal vascular fraction cells may represent an exciting new means to battle severe multiple sclerosis in human patients [3].

The authors intraperitoneally injected EAE mice with stromal vascular fraction cells at day 20 (correlating to severe disease) and, encouragingly, Bowles et al observed improvements in disease severity, mouse behavior, and motor function as compared to control untreated mice. These improvements correlated to alterations in the levels of important inflammatory mediators in the blood and spinal cord (such as a significant increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10), as well as improvements in the levels of cell infiltration, myelin, and lesions in the spinal cord, and an increase in regulatory T cell induction in lymphoid tissues.

This all suggests that stromal vascular fraction cell-treatment may represent an efficient and effective new means to battle severe multiple sclerosis by altering the function of peripheral immune cells and, furthermore, promotes the use of stromal vascular fraction cells in the treatment of other severe neurodegenerative diseases. To this end, the author’s ongoing investigations hope to determine the exact mechanism by which stromal vascular fraction cells modulate immune cell function and bring these highly utile and readily available cells closer to clinical application.

Stay tuned to the Stem Cells Portal to hear all about all the new findings!

References

  1. Gold R, Linington C, and Lassmann H. Understanding pathogenesis and therapy of multiple sclerosis via animal models: 70 years of merits and culprits in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis research. Brain 2006;129:1953-1971.
  2. Constantinescu CS, Farooqi N, O'Brien K, et al. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) as a model for multiple sclerosis (MS). Br J Pharmacol 2011;164:1079-1106.
  3. Bowles AC, Strong AL, Wise RM, et al. Adipose Stromal Vascular Fraction-Mediated Improvements at Late-Stage Disease in a Murine Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Stem Cells 2017;35:532-544.