Allogeneic Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with UDCA-Resistant Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of allogeneic bone marrow mesenchymal stromal/stem cell transplantation (BM-MSCT) for patients with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)-resistant primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). Ten patients were enrolled in this trial of BM-MSCT. All patients were permitted to concurrently continue their previous UDCA treatment. The efficacy of BM-MSCT in UDCA-resistant PBC was assessed at various time points throughout the 12-month follow up. No transplantation-related side effects were observed. The life quality of the patients was improved after BM-MSCT as demonstrated by responses to the PBC-40 questionnaire. Serum levels of ALT, AST, γ-GT, and IgM significantly decreased from baseline after BM-MSCT. In addition, the percentage of CD8+ T cells was reduced, while that of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells was increased in peripheral lymphocytic subsets. Serum levels of IL-10 were also elevated. Notably, the optimal therapeutic outcome was acquired in 3 to 6 months and could be maintained for 12 months after BM-MSCT. In conclusion, allogeneic BM-MSCT in UDCA-resistant PBC is safe and appears to be effective.