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Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Jan 15;20(2):235-44. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddq458. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Dystrophin conferral using human endothelium expressing HLA-E in the non-immunosuppressive murine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Department of Reproductive Biology, National Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan.


Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-E is a non-classical major histocompatibility complex class I (Ib) molecule, which plays an important role in immunosuppression. In this study, we investigated the immunomodulating effect of HLA-E in a xenogeneic system, using human placental artery-derived endothelial (hPAE) cells expressing HLA-E in a mouse model. In vitro cell lysis analysis by primed lymphocytes in combination with siRNA transfection showed that HLA-E is necessary for inhibition of the immune response. Similarly, in vivo cell implantation analysis with siRNA-mediated down-regulation of HLA-E demonstrates that HLA-E is involved in immunosuppression. As hPAE cells efficiently transdifferentiate into myoblasts/myocytes in vitro, we transplanted the cells into mdx mice, a model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. hPAE cells conferred dystrophin to myocytes of the 'immunocompetent' mdx mice with extremely high efficiency. These findings suggest that HLA-E-expressing cells with a myogenic potential represent a promising source for cell-based therapy of patients with muscular dystrophy.

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