R & D

Umbilical-derived mesenchymal stem cells : Atopy, emphysema

Cause

The umbilical Wharton’s jelly contains over 100 times more mesenchymal stem cells than cord blood, and the stability of the mesenchymal stem cells are higher than that of other tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells. In addition, the umbilical cord is immature compared to other tissues, has a relatively low probability of immunological incompatibility, and has a strong immunosuppressive function, making it highly likely to be developed as a treatment for allogeneic cells. Recently, research has been done using the immune regulation of mesenchymal stem cells on the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as atopy, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis. and lupus.

Process

Umbilical-derived mesenchymal stem cells secrete TGF-β and PGE2 which inhibit primary immune responses including autoimmune responses by converting inflammatory T-cells (Th1 cells) into anti-inflammatory T-cells (Th2 cells). It is possible to improve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis by inhibiting the degranulation of mast cells.

Results

As a result of cell culturing in the laboratory, it was confirmed that CD44, CD51, CD105, and CD29, which are typical markers of mesenchymal stem cells, are expressed and that stable long term culture can be undertaken without aging of the cells. Results of animal experiments show reduction of the thickness of the skin layer and decrease of lymphocyte infiltration in the administration group. In addition, the amount of immunoglobulin (IgE) in the serum was decreased, and thus the effect of inhibiting degranulation of mast cells was confirmed.

Mesenchymal stem cell microarray derived from allogenic fat

Cause

Peripheral arterial disease is often associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and smoking. In general, when blood vessels in extremities such as legs and feet are narrowed or clogged, blood supply to those areas gets reduced. Ischemic heart disease and peripheral vascular occlusion (Berger’s disease or combined diabetes mellitus necrosis) are serious diseases and there are currently no known special treatments. Severe ischemic peripheral artery occlusive disease is a leading candidate for stem cell treatment. Many studies have shown that when mesenchymal stem cells are transplanted in vivo, most of those cells are poorly engrafted and thus have poor therapeutic effect. Recently, it has been reported that with injection of 3D-cultured mesenchymal stem cell spheroids, the cell survival rate was significantly improved by the interaction between the cells and the cellular matrix, with meaningful amounts of angiogenic factors such as VEGF, HGF and FGF2 being produced.

Process

Based on matrix engineering, we developed a technique for culturing stem cells in 3D. Despite the short incubation time (within 1-3 days), this novel culturing method is capable of differentiating mesenchymal stem cells into vascular cells in a 3D cell structure showing levels of about 15-50%, These 3D mesenchymal stem cell / vascular cell mixed cultures were termed as 3D microtissue. It has been reported that blood vessels derived from transplanted human cells are formed when the 3D microtissues are transplanted into the subcutaneous tissues of mice. In the nude mouse ischemic animal model, the blood vessels were much larger, and blood vessels formed from human cells could be observed.