Co-transplantation of syngeneic mesenchymal stem cells improves survival of allogeneic glial-restricted precursors in mouse brain

Amit K. Srivastava, Camille A. Bulte, Irina Shats, Piotr Walczak, Jeff W.M. Bulte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Loss of functional cells from immunorejection during the early post-transplantation period is an important factor that reduces the efficacy of stem cell-based therapies. Recent studies have shown that transplanted mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can exert therapeutic effects by secreting anti-inflammatory and pro-survival trophic factors. We investigated whether co-transplantation of MSCs could improve the survival of other transplanted therapeutic cells. Allogeneic glial-restricted precursors (GRPs) were isolated from the brain of a firefly luciferase transgenic FVB mouse (at E13.5 stage) and intracerebrally transplanted, either alone, or together with syngeneic MSCs in immunocompetent BALB/c mice (n=20) or immunodeficient Rag2-/- mice as survival control (n=8). No immunosuppressive drug was given to any animal. Using bioluminescence imaging (BLI) as a non-invasive readout of cell survival, we found that co-transplantation of MSCs significantly improved (p<0.05) engrafted GRP survival. No significant change in signal intensities was observed in immunodeficient Rag2-/- mice, with transplanted cells surviving in both the GRP only and the GRP+MSC group. In contrast, on day 21 post-transplantation, we observed a 94.2% decrease in BLI signal intensity in immunocompetent mice transplanted with GRPs alone versus 68.1% in immunocompetent mice co-transplanted with MSCs and GRPs (p<0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a lower number of infiltrating CD45, CD11b+ and CD8+ cells, reduced astrogliosis, and a higher number of FoxP3+ cells at the site of transplantation for the immunocompetent mice receiving MSCs. The present study demonstrates that co-transplantation of MSCs can be used to create a microenvironment that is more conducive to the survival of allogeneic GRPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-161
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Neurology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Bioluminescence imaging
  • Cell survival
  • Co-transplantation
  • Glial-restricted precursor
  • Immunomodulation
  • Mesenchymal stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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