The transplant of Haematopoetic Stem and Progenitor cells (HSPC) has been employed in the treatment of haematological malignancies.
However, studies have shown that HSPCs also possess immunoregulatory properties, making them potentially attractive alternatives to immunosuppressive drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Clinical trials involving transplantation of autologous haematopoetic stem and progenitor cells in new type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients have shown upto 60% remission of the condition. However, treatment by this approach requires immunosuppression, which often results in adverse effects in patients.
The authors of this paper report that the ex-vivo modulation of HSPCs with prostaglandin E2 improves their immunoregulatory properties, due to the upregulation of the immune checkpoint signaling molecules PD-L1 and CXCR4. Abrogation of autoimmune response ex vivo (in human HSPCs) and in vitro (In mice HSPCs) was noticed as a consequence, in addition to traffic of the HSPCs to inflamed areas. These results suggest that prostaglandin-modulated HSPCs could be used as powerful immunoregulatory tools in the treatment of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes.
Read the article in The Frontiers in Immunology online here.