IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Therapeutic effect of human mesenchymal stem cells in skin after radiation damage

Journal title: Journal de la Société de Biologie
Volume : 199
Issue : 4
Pagination : 337-341
Publication date : 01/12/2005


Over 50 % of all cancer patients presently receive radiotherapy at one stage in their treatment course. Inevitably skin is one of the most frequently damaged tissue due to its localization and constant turn-over. Our present goal is to reduce radiation-induced complications in human skin through stem cell therapy, particulary in human epidermis. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have been shown to be multipotent cells able to engraft in many tissues after injury. Herein, we isolated human MSCs and tested their capability to improve skin wound healing after irradiation. This potential was assessed in NOD/SCID mice which received 30 Gy locally on the thigh. This dose caused within 3 weeks local epidermis necrosis which was repaired within 13 weeks. MSCs were intravenously injected in irradiated mice 24 hours after exposure. Clinical scoring throughout 6 weeks gave indications that human MSCs reduced the extent of damage and accelerated the wound healing process. We show by quantitative qPCR and histological studies the presence of human MSCs derived cells into the scar. Human MSCs homed to the damaged skin and participated to the wound healing process. These results open prospects for cellular therapy by MSCs in irradiated epithelial tissues and could be extended to the whole general field of cutaneous cicatrization, particularly after burns.


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