Background: Recent efforts in osteoarthritis (OA) research have highlighted synovial inflammation and involvement of immune cells in disease onset and progression. We sought to establish the in-vivo immune response in collagenase-induced OA and investigate the ability of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) overexpressing viral interleukin 10 (vIL-10) to modulate immune populations and delay/prevent disease progression. Methods: Eight-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were injected with 1 U type VII collagenase over two consecutive days. At day 7, 20,000 hMSCs overexpressing vIL-10 were injected into the affected knee. Control groups comprised of vehicle, 20,000 untransduced or adNull-transduced MSCs or virus alone. Six weeks later knees were harvested for histological analysis and popliteal and inguinal lymph nodes for flow cytometric analysis. Results: At this time there was no significant difference in knee OA scores between any of the groups. A trend toward more damage in animals treated with hMSCs was observed. Interestingly there was a significant reduction in the amount of activated CD4 and CD8 T cells in the vIL-10-expressing hMSC group. Conclusions: vIL-10-overexpressing hMSCs can induce long-term reduction in activated T cells in draining lymph nodes of mice with collagenase-induced OA. This could lead to reduced OA severity or disease progression over the long term.

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Stem Cell Research and Therapy
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Farrell, E., Fahy, N., Ryan, A. E., Flatharta, C.O. (Cathal O), O'Flynn, L. (Lisa), Ritter, T., & Murphy, J. M. (2016). VIL-10-overexpressing human MSCs modulate naïve and activated T lymphocytes following induction of collagenase-induced osteoarthritis. Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 7(1). doi:10.1186/s13287-016-0331-2