Rabbit umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells: a new option for cytotherapy
Background: Cytotherapy is considered a promising treatment for some refractory diseases. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from animals, which can potentially provide an unlimited supply compared to humans, are a promising alternative to satisfy the medical demand for xenotransplantation. Methods: Here, the structure of the rabbit umbilical cord were analyzed and compared with that of human umbilical cord. We isolated and cultured the rUCMSCs in vitro and used CCK-8 to detect cell proliferation activity of rUCMSCs. Then, we studied the immunological characteristics of rUCMSCs by using MLR, flow cytometry and ELISA test. Futhermore, the complexes formed by rUCMSC and HA/TCP were used to repair the rat cranial defect model in vivo study. By using radiological, histological and immunohistochemistry methods, we detected the efficacy and safety of rUCMSCs in a xenogeneic host. Findings: In this study, we found that there were no histological differences between rabbit and human umbilical cords. So, rUCMSCs were successfully isolated and cultured refering to the method of isolating hUCMSCs. Then, we found that the proliferation rate of rUCMSCs was significantly higher than that of human UCMSCs. Furthermore, we showed that rUCMSCs not only have immune suppression capability , but also have low immunogenicity in both allogeneic and xenogeneic immune responses. Finally, we demonstrated that rUCMSCs can promote osteogenesis and inhibit the inflammatory reaction in heterogeneous hosts. Interpretation: rUCMSCs may be a new source of cells for cytotherapy and tissue engineering.