Mesenchymal stem cells as broad application therapeutics


  1. Ford, B.N.
  2. Bjarnason, S.G.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN)
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen affecting humans and equines, and can be used in bio-warfare. In humans, VEEV causes a pathological spectrum including acute neurological encephalitis. No licensed vaccine or antiviral currently exists to combat VEEV infection in humans. Direct antibody administration (passive immunity) is an effective, but short-lived, means of providing immediate protection against a pathogen. We examined whether human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVCs), engineered with a transgene encoding a humanized VEEV-neutralizing antibody (anti-VEEV), could provide a renewable source of antibody protection in vivo. In mice, the anti-VEEV antibody had a half-life of 3.7 days, limiting protection to 2 or 3 days after administration. In contrast, modified HUCPVCs generated protective anti-VEEV serum titers for 21 to 38 days. At 109 days post-transplant, 10% of mice still had circulating anti-VEEV antibody. Importantly, mice were protected against exposure to a lethal dose of VEEV by a pre-treatment with modified HUCPVCs 24 hours or 10 days before exposure, demonstrating both rapid and prolonged immune protection. This study is the first to describe mesenchymal stromal cells as gene delivery vehicles for passive immune protection from a pathogen.
adult stem cell;sepsis;infection;trauma;virus;injury;casualty care
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-L212 — Scientific Letter
Date of publication
05 Aug 2015
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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