Lack of tumorigenesis and protumorigenic activity of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in NOD SCID mice

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Background: The tumorigenesis of infused umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) is being preclinically evaluated. Methods: We observed tumor formation in NOD SCID mice after a single subcutaneous injection of hUC-MSCs and the effect of these cells on tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice. Three generations (P5, P7, and P10) of hUC-MSCs (1 × 107) from two donors (hUC-MSC1 and hUC-MSC2) were inoculated subcutaneously into NOD SCID mice. Subcutaneous transplantation models were established in NOD SCID mice with human cervical cancer HeLa cells (solid tumor) and human B cell lymphoma Raji cells (hematological tumor). Then, the animals were euthanized, gross dissection was performed, and tissues were collected. Various organs were observed microscopically to identify pathological changes and tumor metastasis. Results: In the tumorigenesis experiment, no general anatomical abnormalities were observed. In the tumor promotion experiment, some animals in the HeLa groups experienced tumor rupture, and one animal died in each of the low- and medium-dose hUC-MSC groups. The results may have occurred due to the longer feeding time, and the tumor may have caused spontaneous infection and death. Pathological examination revealed no metastasis to distant organs in any group. In the Raji tumor model, some animals in each group experienced tumor rupture, and one animal in the medium-dose hUC-MSC group died, perhaps due to increased tumor malignancy. Thus, hUC-MSCs neither promoted nor inhibited tumor growth. No cancer cell metastasis was observed in the heart, liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys or other important organs, except that pulmonary venule metastasis was observed in 1 animal in the model group. Conclusions: Injected hUC-MSCs were not tumorigenic and did not significantly promote or inhibit solid or hematological tumor growth or metastasis in NOD SCID mice.




He, J., Yao, X., Mo, P., Wang, K., Yang, Z. ling, Tian, N. ni, … Pan, X. hua. (2022). Lack of tumorigenesis and protumorigenic activity of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in NOD SCID mice. BMC Cancer, 22(1).

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