Accumulating evidences have identified the immunoregulatory features of stem cells. In this study, the immunoregulation of bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) transplanted into patients with HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis and mouse model of liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) administration was observed.
Compared with healthy controls, patients with HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis showed significantly higher levels of TNF-alpha, IL-12, TGF-beta1, IL-17, and IL-8. However, only IL-17 was markedly decreased after autologous BMSCs transplantation during their follow-up. The same results were found in the CCl4-treated mice. Furthermore, we found that exogenous IL-17 partly abolished the therapeutic effect of BMSCs whereas IL-17-specific antibody promoted improvement of liver injury in CCl4-treated mice, resembling the therapeutic effect of BMSCs transplantation.
These data suggested that BMSCs transplantation induces a decrease of IL-17 level, which at least in part delineates the mechanisms of stem cells-mediated therapeutic benefit on liver disease.