Potential for re-programming cells has become widely accepted as a tool for obtaining transplantation materials. There has been great interest in cell-based therapies, including retinal transplants, because there is a reduced risk of immune rejection. Stem cells have the capacity for self-renewal plus the capacity to generate several differentiated cells. They are derived from many sources including human adult-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and have found early application in the context of ocular disease. In results, our established iPS-retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are high-quality RPE cells. iPS cells-derived RPE cells clearly showed polygonal morphology (mostly hexagonal) and contained melanin. Moreover, RPE cells derived from iPS cells had many characteristics of mature RPE cells in vivo, but no characteristics of pluripotent stem cells. Recently, we transplanted RPE cell sheets to treat a patient with wet age-related macular degeneration (September, 2014). In addition, we are now conducting experiments to determine whether allogeneic T cells can recognize iPS-RPE cells from HLA-A, B, DRB1 locus homozygote donors. iPS bank might be useful as allografts in retinal disorders, if the recipient T cells cannot respond to allogeneic RPE cells because of match to some of main HLA antigens.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess multipotent capacity and exhibit immunoregulatory properties. In particular, MSCs can be easily isolated from various organs, can differentiate into various types of cells and generate regulatory T cells. Using human MSC derived from bone marrow and adipose tissue, we have clarified the following novel findings in vitro. 1) MSCs differentiated into osteoblasts or osteocytes under osteoblast-conditioned medium including the inflammatory stimuli such as IL-1. 2) The combination of IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor induced differentiation of MSCs to chondrocyte, whereas IL-17 inhibited their differentiation. 3) MSCs highly produced osteoprotegerin and inhibited osteoclastogenesis. Furthermore, we developed a local delivery system of MSCs by using nano-fiber scaffold. MSCs seeded on nano-fiber scaffold suppressed arthritis and bone destruction due to inhibition of systemic inflammatory reaction and immune response by suppressing T cell proliferation and reducing anti-type II collagen antibody production in vivo. Thus, our data may serve as a new strategy for MSC-based therapy in inflammatory diseases and an alternative delivery method for the treatment of destruction of bone and joints.
Salivary gland hypofunction, or xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome), induces various clinical problems, such as dental decay, bacterial infection, and swallowing dysfunction. Xerostomia caused by autoimmune disease and aging affects an increasing number of patients. The development of novel functional treatments for xerostomia is needed, as currently available therapies are only palliative in nature. Tissue stem cell transplantation and gene therapy are currently being investigated as potential approaches to the restoration of salivary gland function. The final goal of regenerative therapy is fully functional regenerative organ replacement for dysfunctional organs. Previously, we developed a technology to reconstitute the organ germ (Organ Germ Method) using epithelial and mesenchymal stem cells. We have recently reported the regeneration of fully functional organs, such as teeth, hair and lacrimal glands, can be achieved by the transplantation of bioengineered organ germs. In this review, we describe the regeneration of the salivary gland as part of a feasibility study of a next-generation regenerative therapy.
Recently, promising clinical outcomes of cancer immunotherapy including administration of an anti PD-1 antibody targeting for T cell reactivation has gained particular attention worldwide. Adoptive cell therapy with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and TCR/CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) transgenic T cells are also under development. Although it has become clearer that the efficacy of adoptive cell therapy correlate with the quality of infusing T cells, antigen specific T cells in patients with chronic infection and cancer have been exhausted. We have succeeded to generate rejuvenated antigen specific T cells by reprogramming to pluripotency and differentiation. In this article, we introduce fundamentals of this technology and describe its potential for adoptive cell therapy in the future.
Studies in the pre-biologics era described elevated risk of infection in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recently biologics have been popularized and glucocorticoids used still now in RA patients, which can lead to various infections. Incidence rates of infection in RA patients are reported to be higher than that in the general population. Several factors such as higher age, comorbidities including chronic lung disease and diabetes mellitus, and glucocorticoids are known to increase risk of serious infection. Significant correlation between methotrexate and infection is not established. Whether biologics, especially inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor alpha, increase the risk for infection is still controversial even with randomized control studies and the meta-analyses; however, time-dependent decrease of the risk was revealed. Our three-year analysis of RA patients for infections requiring hospitalization included 5441 patient-years (PY) in total and detected an incidence rate of 3.4/100 PY, of which the risk factors were higher age (70 years of age or older), male sex, progressed stage of arthritis, functional disorders, and use of glucocorticoids or biologics. Such risk factors should be kept in mind for therapeutic decisions in individual patients with RA.
A 77-year-old man with a 13-year history of systemic sclerosis (SSc) was admitted to our hospital with fever, appetite loss, and disorientation. The patient was well 2 days prior to the admission and had been taking a low dose of a steroid and vasodilators over the previous 10 years. In regular clinic visits, his blood pressure was normotensive and serum creatinine (Cr) was within the normal range. On admission, hypertension (blood pressure 214/105 mmHg), proteinuria, and hypercreatinemia (3.6 mg/dL) led to the diagnosis of sclerotic renal crisis (SRC). Thrombocytopenia (5.4 × 104/μL), erythrocyte fragmentation, and elevated lactate dehydrogenase were suggestive of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). The immediate initiation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy and plasma exchange (PE) rapidly improved the disorientation and thrombocytopenia. It is notable that SRC might occur in patients with a 13-year history of SSc. PE should be considered as a treatment option for SRC complicated by TMA.
Summary: A 39-year-old woman was diagnosed with Systemic lupus erthymatosus (SLE) in 1993, and initially received 30 mg of prednisolone (PSL) daily as treatment. In 2012, the patient was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) complecated with proteinurea, hypertension and pretibial edema at 24 weeks of gestation. At onset, protein urea was 1.6 g/day and she was given bed rest in the hospital with a protein-restricted and low salt diet, which led to a decrease in protein urea to approximately 1 g/day. At 34 weeks of gestation epigastric pain developed, and laboratory examinations showed liver dysfunction and low platelets. We made a diagnosis of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet (HELLP) syndrome and performed an emergency cesarean procedure. Thereafter blood pressure was elevated, protein urea was 3.2 g/daily, anti-ds-DNA antibody level was elevated and serum C3/C4/CH50 was reduced, thus we gave. plasma exchange therapy, along with immunoadsorption and steroid pulse therapy (methyl-prednisolone 500 mg/daily for 3 days), as well as PSL at 30 mg/day. Overtime clinical symptoms and laboratory data gradually improved. Conclusion: Some reports suggest that SLE during pregnancy is a risk factor for hypertension, nephritis, SLE relapse and HELLP syndrome. In the patient, ADAMTS13 activity did not decrease, while there was an increase in VW factor level. We assessed this case was as atypical thrombotic microangiopathy. And herein report HELLP syndrome during pregnancy associated with SLE in our patient.