The study (Reference A) below show that a single injection of Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (BMDMSC) improved the secretory function of the lacrimal gland in Sjögren’s syndrome-like diseased mice. This improved production of tears was most likely due to decreased inflammation and increased expression of the water channel aquaporin which is key in improving tear production. They conclude: Additional experiments are needed to further characterize the downstream targets involved in the improved lacrimal gland function in response to MSC delivery.
Another study below (Reference B) shows that Adipose (Fat) Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (ADMSC) help dogs with keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), also known as “dry eye syndrome.” In dogs, as in humas, KCS is a common ocular disease resulting from lacrimal gland (LG) inflammation and decreased tear production. KCS can occur either as a quantitative deficiency in the aqueous component of tears or as a qualitative deficiency in the lipid or mucin layers of the tear film, causing tear film instability, with potential damage to the ocular surface. This study shows that a single dose of a low number of Mesenchymal Stem Cells can be used to treat KCS in dogs. In contrast to immunosuppressive drug use (like chronic Restasis use or stronger drugs), MSC transplantation has an effect over a long period (up to 12 months), even after a single administration, and does not require daily drug administration.
They have seen a small number of dogs are resistant to the action of cyclosporine (which is Restasis): this is likely true in humans also. Some patients do not respond well to Restasis. Others love it. Others need to use it 4x per day, which is off label, to feel an effect and they do feel better on 4x per day.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are powerful regulators of the immune response and that they have been shown to be effective in treating various immune disorders in human and animal models (References 1-22 below)
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
A. Stem Cells Int. 2017; 2017: 3134543.
Published online 2017 Mar 2. doi: 10.1155/2017/3134543
Delivery of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improves Tear Production in a Mouse Model of Sjögren’s Syndrome
The purpose of the present study was to test the potential of mouse bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BD-MSCs) in improving tear production in a mouse model of Sjögren’s syndrome dry eye and to investigate the underlying mechanisms involved. NOD mice (n = 20) were randomized to receive i.p. injection of sterile phosphate buffered saline (PBS, control) or murine BD-MSCs (1 × 106 cells). Tears production was measured at baseline and once a week after treatment using phenol red impregnated threads. Cathepsin S activity in the tears was measured at the end of treatment. After 4 weeks, animals were sacrificed and the lacrimal glands were excised and processed for histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and RNA analysis. Following BD-MSC injection, tears production increased over time when compared to both baseline and PBS injected mice. Although the number of lymphocytic foci in the lacrimal glands of treated animals did not change, the size of the foci decreased by 40.5% when compared to control animals. The mRNA level of the water channel aquaporin 5 was significantly increased following delivery of BD-MSCs. We conclude that treatment with BD-MSCs increases tear production in the NOD mouse model of Sjögren’s syndrome. This is likely due to decreased inflammation and increased expression of aquaporin 5.
Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Dogs With Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a dysfunction in tear production associated with clinical signs, which include conjunctival hyperemia, ocular discharge, discomfort, pain, and, eventually, corneal vascularization and pigmentation. Immunosuppressive drugs are routinely administrated for long periods to treat KCS but with side effects and limited results. Evaluation of the clinical benefits of intralacrimal transplantation of allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in dogs with mild–moderate and severe KCS was done. A total of 24 eyes with KCS from 15 dogs of different breeds were enrolled in the present study. A single transplantation of MSCs (1 × 106) directly into lacrimal glands (dorsal and third eyelid) was performed. The Schirmer tear tests (STTs) and ocular surface improvements were used to assess short- and long-term effects of these cells. The STTs were carried out on day 0 (before MSCs transplantation) and on days 7, 14, 21, and 28, as well as 6 and 12 months after MSC transplantation. Our data demonstrate that allogeneic MSC transplantation in KCS dogs is safe since no adverse effects were observed immediately after transplantation and in short- and long-term follow-ups. A statistically significant increase in the STT and ocular surface improvements was found in all eyes studied. In all the eyes with mild–moderate KCS, STT values reverted to those of healthy eyes, while in eyes with severe KCS, although complete reversion was not found, there was improvement in tear production and in other clinical signs. Our study shows that a single dose of a low number of MSCs can be used to treat KCS in dogs. In contrast to immunosuppressive drug use, MSC transplantation has an effect over a long period (up to 12 months), even after a single administration, and does not require daily drug administration.
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As of today 5/12/2017 there are 138 papers on Stem Cells Dry Eye