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Distribution pattern following systemic mesenchymal stem cell injection depends on the age of the recipient and neuronal health

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posted on 2017-04-28, 13:00 authored by Claire Fabian, Yahaira Naaldijk, Christiane Leovsky, Adiv A. Johnson, Lukas Rudolph, Carsten Jaeger, Katrin Arnold, Alexandra StolzingAlexandra Stolzing
BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show therapeutic efficacy in many different age-related degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Very little is currently known about whether or not aging impacts the transplantation efficiency of MSCs. METHODS: In this study, we investigated the distribution of intravenously transplanted syngeneic MSCs derived from young and aged mice into young, aged, and transgenic APP/PS1 Alzheimer's disease mice. MSCs from male donors were transplanted into female mice and their distribution pattern was monitored by PCR using Y-chromosome specific probes. Biodistribution of transplanted MSCs in the brains of APP/PS1 mice was additionally confirmed by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. RESULTS: Four weeks after transplantation into young mice, young MSCs were found in the lung, axillary lymph nodes, blood, kidney, bone marrow, spleen, liver, heart, and brain cortex. In contrast, young MSCs that were transplanted into aged mice were only found in the brain cortex. In both young and aged mouse recipients, transplantation of aged MSCs showed biodistribution only in the blood and spleen. Although young transplanted MSCs only showed neuronal distribution in the brain cortex in young mice, they exhibited a wide neuronal distribution pattern in the brains of APP/PS1 mice and were found in the cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, olfactory bulb, and brainstem. The immunofluorescent signal of both transplanted MSCs and resident microglia was robust in the brains of APP/PS1 mice. Monocyte chemoattractant-1 levels were lowest in the brain cortex of young mice and were significantly increased in APP/PS1 mice. Within the hippocampus, monocyte chemoattractant-1 levels were significantly higher in aged mice compared with younger and APP/PS1 mice. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate in vivo that MSC biodistribution post transplantation is detrimentally affected by aging and neuronal health. Aging of both the recipient and the donor MSCs used attenuates transplantation efficiency. Clinically, our data would suggest that aged MSCs should not be used for transplantation and that transplantation of MSCs into aged patients will be less efficacious.


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF 031A575C).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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Stem Cell Res Ther






85 - ?


FABIAN, C. ... et al, 2017. Distribution pattern following systemic mesenchymal stem cell injection depends on the age of the recipient and neuronal health. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 8 (1), pp. 85-94.


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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by BioMed Central under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/