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J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Aug;27(8):1635-48. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1620.

Therapeutic effects of intrabone and systemic mesenchymal stem cell cytotherapy on myeloma bone disease and tumor growth.

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  • 1Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


The cytotherapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been evaluated in various disorders including those involving inflammation, autoimmunity, bone regeneration, and cancer. Multiple myeloma (MM) is a systemic malignancy associated with induction of osteolytic lesions that often are not repaired even after prolonged remission. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of intrabone and systemic injections of MSCs on MM bone disease, tumor growth, and tumor regrowth in the severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)-rab model and to shed light on the exact localization of systemically injected MSCs. Intrabone injection of MSCs, but not hematopoietic stem cells, into myelomatous bones prevented MM-induced bone disease, promoted bone formation, and inhibited MM growth. After remission was induced with melphalan treatment, intrabone-injected MSCs promoted bone formation and delayed myeloma cell regrowth in bone. Most intrabone or systemically injected MSCs were undetected 2 to 4 weeks after injection. The bone-building effects of MSCs were mediated through activation of endogenous osteoblasts and suppression of osteoclast activity. Although a single intravenous injection of MSCs had no effect on MM, sequential weekly intravenous injections of MSCs prevented MM-induced bone disease but had no effect on tumor burden. MSCs expressed high levels of anti-inflammatory (eg, HMOX1) and bone-remodeling (eg, Decorin, CYR61) mediators. In vitro, MSCs promoted osteoblast maturation and suppressed osteoclast formation, and these effects were partially prevented by blocking decorin. A subset of intravenously or intracardially injected MSCs trafficked to myelomatous bone in SCID-rab mice. Although the majority of intravenously injected MSCs were trapped in lungs, intracardially injected MSCs were mainly localized in draining mesenteric lymph nodes. This study shows that exogenous MSCs act as bystander cells to inhibit MM-induced bone disease and tumor growth and that systemically injected MSCs are attracted to bone by myeloma cells or conditions induced by MM and inhibit bone disease.

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