Infusion of third-party mesenchymal stromal cells after kidney transplantation: a phase I-II, open-label, clinical study.Kidney Int. 2019 03; 95(3):693-707.KI
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) exhibit anti-inflammatory and immune-regulatory properties, and preclinical studies suggest a potential benefit in solid organ transplantation. We report on the 1-year follow-up of an open-label phase I-II trial of a single infusion of third-party MSC post-kidney transplantation, in addition to standard immunosuppression. Ten kidney transplant recipients from deceased donors received third-party bone marrow MSCs (∼2 × 106/kg) on day 3 ± 2 post-transplant and were compared to 10 concurrent controls. No adverse effects were noted at MSC injection. One participant with a history of cardiac disease had a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction approximately 3 hours after MSC infusion. Incidences of opportunistic infections and acute rejection were similar. At day 7 post-transplant, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in MSC-treated recipients reached 48.6 ml/min/1.73m2, compared to 32.5 ml/min/1.73m2 in controls and 29.3 ml/min/1.73m2 in our overall cohort of kidney transplant recipients. No difference in eGFR was found at 1 year. MSC-treated recipients showed increased frequencies of regulatory T cells at day 30, with no significant change in B cell frequencies compared to concurrent controls. Four MSC-treated participants developed antibodies against MSC or shared kidney-MSC HLA, with only 1 with MFI >1500. A single infusion of third-party MSC following kidney transplantation appears to be safe, with one cardiac event of unclear relationship to the intervention. MSC therapy is associated with increased regulatory T cell proportion and with improved early allograft function. Long-term effects, including potential immunization against MSC, remain to be studied.