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Introducing the immunomodulatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells in an experimental model of Behçet’s disease

Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ideas
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmhi.2012.03.007
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells
  • Behçet’S Disease
  • Syngeneic Model
  • Molecular Mechanisms
  • Immunotherapy
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Behçet’s disease (BD) is a systemic vasculitis which is characterised by oral, aphthous ulcers, genital ulcers, skin lesions and ocular manifestations. Although the aetiopathogenesis of BD is still unknown, the critical role of Th1 immune responses, neutrophil hyperactivation alongside overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-8, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and particularly IL-17 have been demonstrated in the immunopathogenesis of the disease. Despite significant progress in understanding of the aetiology of the disease, its treatment remains intricate, and is still treated with immune-suppressive drugs and biological agents with probable systemic side effects. Accordingly, there is a necessity to establish the more efficient and less toxic therapeutic methods which may offer a long-time remission of BD. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are non-haematopoietic and multipotential stem cells with immunosuppressive capacities in innate and acquired immune systems. MSCs can migrate to damaged tissues and prevent secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and other immunomodulatory effectors, increasing the survival of damaged cells, although the exact underlying mechanisms are still unknown. For this purpose, numerous herpes simplex viruses are injected into C57BL/6 mice to produce Behçet’s mouse model and transferring a certain number of MSCs may have therapeutic value for control of Behçet’s animal model, so researchers could deliberate the function of MSCs and proinflammatory cytokines particularly IL-17A-F, TNF-α, interferon gamma (IFN-γ), IL-2, IL-6 and IL-8 in an experimental model. The aim of this hypothesis is to evaluate immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory properties of MSCs in syngeneic animal model for BD, in order to clarify the mechanisms of MSCs in BD management, as a broad and more confident treatment in clinical application.

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