How Does the Immune System Respond to Transplanted Stem Cells? - Stem Cell Centers, Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy

How Does the Immune System Respond to Transplanted Stem Cells?

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A commonly asked question about stem cell treatment involves how the body responds to the transplanted stem cells. Does the immune system treat them as foreign bodies that need to be eliminated? Acceptance or rejection of transplanted cells largely depends on what kind of cells are being transplanted. Human embryonic stem cells have been found to cause cases of patient rejection. We use Amniotic stem cells to avoid this issue with rejection.

Amniotic stem cells don’t have the risk of patient rejection.  The growth factors in Amniotic stem cells stimulate tissue growth in the body for repair and renewal.

While a Stanford team noted that the body’s immune reaction can mimic rejections during organ transplantation with certain types of transplanted stem cells, scientists are working on anti-rejection medications that will work to suppress patient immune systems enough to let the transplanted stem cells thrive, according to the Scientific American.  

Immune Cells

“Within the thymus, T cells undergo an important process that “educates” them to distinguish between self (the proteins of their own body) and nonself (the invading organism’s) antigens, National Institutes of Health. This education prevents them from attacking healthy cells in your body. (Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune cells can’t distinguish between antigens and healthy cells and start attacking healthy cells.)

The risk of using non-self hematopoietic stem cells for transplanted stem cell therapies is of immune rejection of the transplanted stem cells. This rejection is caused by Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) MHC protein differences between the donor and the patient (recipient). Using your own stem cells doesn’t cause this immune system confusion.

Induced Pluripotent Cells Can be Programmed to Avoid Rejection

iPS cells caused a great stir of excitement when they were first discovered since they are drawn from an individual’s own cells, unlike using human embryonic stem cells. While it is true that iPS cells reduce immune system rejection of transplanted stem cells, abnormal gene expression triggered rejection of certain iPS cells. In some cases tumors have even been created. That’s why a new study that showed how iPS cells could be programmed to behave a certain way brought new hope for the therapy.

“A team of scientists headed by biologists at UC San Diego has discovered how induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are derived from an individual’s own cells, could be programmed to avoid rejection from the immune system,” Forbes Magazine reported.

Some Cell Types Are Safer than Others

Ongoing research to discover how to help prevent immune system rejection of transplanted stem cells is underway.  A recent study suggested that some cell types from human iPSCs are safer for transplantation than others.  By improving the differentiation techniques used to produce mature cells from iPSCs, rejection was prevented.  Given this study’s findings, iPSC-derived RPE cells could also be a safe and effective stem cell therapy for eye disorders like age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Amniotic Stem Cells Avoid Immune System Rejection of Transplanted Stem Cells

“Amniotic stem cells (ASCs) are collectively a mixture of stem cells that can be obtained from amniotic fluid and tissue,” the Journal of Cell Science and Therapy (JCST) said. “Amniotic stem cells (ASCs) can develop into many different types of tissues such as skin, cartilage, cardiac, nerves, muscle, and bone. Consequently, ASCs have been implicated to provide many potential medical applications, especially in organ and joint regeneration. ASCs can be extracted from the amniotic sac by a process called amniocentesis. This process can occur without harming the developing fetus, which is very important to emphasize because of the negative stigma around embryonic derived stem cells.”

What Can ASCs Treat?

ASCs support the therapeutic regeneration of body tissues including the brain, heart, joints, and bone. ASCs have also demonstrated the ability to differentiate into cartilage tissues to restore damaged tissue in joints and support the repairing and healing process of body, the JCST said.

Stem cells harvested from human amniotic fluid offer a highly differentiable source of mesenchymal stem cells. These cells have thus far demonstrated the ability to be applied to a wide array of existing and future treatment methods. Both amniotic fluid and amnion membrane-derived stem cells (AMSCs) show benefits for a wide range of treatments.

The benefits of using transplanted stem cells for treatment offer hope to those suffering from injuries and  chronic conditions. Learn about candidates for stem cell therapy by scheduling an appointment and visiting with our physicians on the applications for amniotic stem cell therapy with your current injury.  Call Stem Cell Centers today at (877) 808-0016 and see what stem cell therapy can do for!