The term allogenic means from a different individual in the same species. So, an allogenic mesenchymal stem cell graft for you would mean a stem cell graft from another human. There is indeed much speculation that mesenchymal stem cells are immune-privileged. However, recent studies suggest that they are escaping immune rejection because they are anti-immune rather than immune-privileged. Anti-immune means that they are probably turning off immune cells. What is now known is the extent to which the progeny (the offspring) of the mesenchymal are also immune-privileged or anti-immune, once they differentiate into neurons or muscles. Note that allogenic mesenchymal stem cels are necessary because most muscular dystrophies are genetic disorders. Therefore, if mesenchymal stem cells are obtained from yourself (autografts), they will not solve the problem.

The most common form of childhood onset muscular dystrophy is Duchenne's and it is associated with a the absence of dystrophin, a protein that is essential for maintaining muscles. For several years now, doctors have suggested that mesenchymal stem cells are useful for muscular dystrophy, particularly a type of cells called mesoangioblasts (Source). The treatment has been reported to be beneficial in mice (Source) or dogs (Source) that don't have dystrophin. However, there has been disappointingly few clinical trials that have shown any benefit of mesenchymal stem cell grafts in humans. However, several studies in Guangzhou have reported beneficial effects of HLA-matched umbilical cord blood infusions in patients with muscular dystrophy. I have discussed these before here.
Zhang C, Chen W, Xiao LL, Tan EX, Luo SK, Zheng D, Ye X, Li Z, Lu XL and Liu Y (2005). [Allogeneic umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy]. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 85: 522-5. OBJECTIVE: To study the feasibility of treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) with umbilical cord stem cell transplantation. METHODS: HLA matching was conducted for a 11-year-old DMD boy with family history was underwent umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation and a sample of umbilical cord stem cells with 5 matched HLA sites was found in the cord blood bank with 27.32 x 10(8) nucleated cells, about 2.6 times that of the treatment dosage for him. After pretreatment with busulfan 14 mg/kg.d, cyclophosphamide 50 mg/kg.d, and rabbit anti-human thymocyte globulin 10 mg/kg.d, the allogeneic cord blood stem cells were transplanted intravenously. Cyclosporin A, methylprednisolone and MMF were used after the transplantation so as to prevent graft versus host reaction. Prostaglandin E1 was used to prevent Budd-Chiari syndrome, and ganciclovir was used to prevent cytomegalovirus infection. At the same time, Gran, granulocytic cell stimulating factor, and gammaglobulin were also used. Biochemistry test, including serum creatine kinase (CK), was conducted. Evidence of reconstruction of blood making, including conversion of blood type, was observed. PCR-STR analysis was used to observe the status of implantation of the donor umbilical cord blood stem cells. RESULTS: (1) 12 days after transplantation, the white blood cells (WBC) of peripheral blood were 0.5 x 10(9)/L, 14 days after, the numbers of WBC and neutrophils were 1.0 x 10(9)/L and 0.6 x 10(9)/L respectively. In 37 days, granulocytic cell stimulating factor was no more used, the peripheral blood WBC fluctuated around 3.34 approximately 12.2 x 10(9)/L. In the 27th day, the number of blood platelets was more than 20 x 10(9)/L and hemoglobin rose to 88 g/L. On the 24th day red blood cells transfusion was stopped. (2) In the 42nd day, the blood type of the patient transformed from type A before transplantation to type AB (the blood type of transplanted stem cells is type B). (3) PCR-STR test of the peripheral blood made 17, 26, and 42 days after transplantation showed that the gene type of the patient was mixed mosaic: The ratio of donor gradually increased from 40% approximately 45% to 55% approximately 65%. (4) In the 38th day I degrees GVHD appeared. (5) serum CK level declined from 6000 U/L to 600 approximately 2200 U/L. (6) In the 42nd day, physical examination revealed obviously improvement in walking, turning the body over, and standing up. CONCLUSION: This is first case of prospective clinical transplantation on DMD by allogeneic cord blood stem cell. Umbilical cord stem cell transplantation helps re-build blood-making function, and improve locomotive function with a mild GVHD reaction. The genotype of rebuilt blood is mosaic but the ratio of gene mosaic gradually turn from recipient gene type > donor gene type to recipient gene type < donor gene type. The serum CK level decreases significantly after transplantation, which may slow down the necrosis of muscle cell. DMD patient will be benefited by stem cell transplantation. Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China.

Xiao LL, Chen W, Zhang C, Liu ZL, Ye X, Zhang WD and Yi Y (2004). [A probability analysis for HLA matching in adult stem cell transplantation treating nervous genetic diseases]. Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi 12: 845-8. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical feasibility of adult stem cell transplantation for lethal mono-gene inherited disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). A total of 30 blood samples from DMD patients were genotyped with HLA-A,-B and -DR alleles by means of polymerase chain reaction-reverse sequence specific oligonucleotide (PCR-RSSO). The HLA gene types in 30 DMD patients were compared with those of 668 unrelated donors from Umbilical Cord Blood Center of Guangdong Province and 34 910 unrelated donors from Chinese Bone Marrow Bank. The results showed that HLA gene of the DMD group was inherited in normal distribution. There was no striking difference of HLA-A, -B and -DR alleles expression between the DMD patients group and control healthy group. 25% of the DMD patients got suitable donors for stem cell transplantation, in which 15 patients found donors with >or= 5/6 HLA match at the Umbilical Cord Blood Center of Guangdong Province, i.e. occupying 50% of the total. Eight patients got 6/6 HLA matching donors at the Chinese Bone Marrow Bank, i.e. occupying 26% of the total. It is concluded that stem cells transplantation therapy for DMD patients is feasible, which will benefit these patients suffered from the lethal neuromuscular disease, and create a new way to treat this tough nervous system disease. Guangzhou Blood Center, Guangzhou, 510095 China.

Quote Originally Posted by hb179
Dear Dr. Wise,

Can Allogenic Mesenchymal stem cell benefit MD?? As it is a known fact that mesenchymal do not require HLA matching and the risk associated with M-SC is low due to avoidance of immuno-supressor, hence gaining a lot of attention these days.