Tsuda H, Yamahara K, Ishikane S, Otani K, Nakamura A, Sawai K, Ichimaru N, Sada M, Taguchi A, Hosoda H, Tsuji M, Kawachi H, Horio M, Isaka Y, Kangawa K, Takahara S, Ikeda T.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been reported to be an attractive therapeutic cell source for the treatment of renal diseases. Recently, we reported that transplantation of allogenic fetal membrane-derived MSC (FM-MSC), which are available noninvasively in large amounts, had a therapeutic effect on a hindlimb ischemia model (Ishikane S, Ohnishi S, Yamahara K, Sada M, Harada K, Mishima K, Iwasaki K, Fujiwara M, Kitamura S, Nagaya N, Ikeda T. Stem Cells 26: 2625-2633, 2008). Here, we investigated whether allogenic FM-MSC administration could ameliorate renal injury in experimental glomerulonephritis. Lewis rats with anti-Thy1 nephritis intravenously received FM-MSC obtained from major histocompatibility complex-mismatched ACI rats (FM-MSC group) or a PBS (PBS group). Nephritic rats exhibited an increased urinary protein excretion in the PBS group, whereas the FM-MSC group rats had a significantly lower level of increase (P < 0.05 vs. PBS group). FM-MSC transplantation significantly reduced activated mesangial cell (MC) proliferation, glomerular monocyte/macrophage infiltration, mesangial matrix accumulation, as well as the glomerular expression of inflammatory or extracellular matrix-related genes including TNF-α, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), type I collagen, TGF-β, type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) (P < 0.05 vs. PBS group). In vitro, FM-MSC-derived conditioned medium significantly attenuated the expression of TNF-α and MCP-1 in rat MC through a prostaglandin E(2)-dependent mechanism. These data suggest that transplanted FM-MSC contributed to the healing process in injured kidney tissue by producing paracrine factors. Our results indicate that allogenic FM-MSC transplantation is a potent therapeutic strategy for the treatment of acute glomerulonephritis.