Research Papers:

Mesenchymal stem cells provide prophylaxis against acute graft-versus-host disease following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A meta-analysis of animal models

Li Wang, Haiyan Zhang, Lixun Guan, Shasha Zhao, Zhenyang Gu, Huaping Wei, Zhe Gao, Feiyan Wang, Nan Yang, Lan Luo, Yonghui Li, Lili Wang, Daihong Liu and Chunji Gao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:61764-61774. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11238

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Li Wang1,2,*, Haiyan Zhang3,*, Lixun Guan1, Shasha Zhao1, Zhenyang Gu1, Huaping Wei1, Zhe Gao1, Feiyan Wang1, Nan Yang1, Lan Luo1, Yonghui Li1, Lili Wang1, Daihong Liu1, Chunji Gao1

1Department of Hematology, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital, Beijing, China

2Department of Hematology and Oncology, Laoshan Branch, No. 401 Hospital of Chinese PLA, Qingdao, China

3Department of Hematology, Linyi People’s Hospital, Linyi, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Chunji Gao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells, graft-versus-host disease, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, meta-analysis, animal experimentation

Received: April 30, 2016    Accepted: July 28, 2016    Published: August 12, 2016


A meta-analysis of animal models was conducted to evaluate the prophylactic effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. A total of 50 studies involving 1848 animals were included. The pooled results showed that MSCs significantly reduced aGVHD-associated mortality (risk ratio = 0.70, 95% confidence interval 0.62 to 0.79, P = 2.73×10-9) and clinical scores (standardized mean difference = -3.60, 95% confidence interval -4.43 to -2.76, P = 3.61×10-17). In addition, MSCs conferred robust favorable prophylactic effects on aGVHD across recipient species, MSC doses, and administration times, but not MSC sources. Our meta-analysis showed that MSCs significantly prevented mortality and alleviated the clinical manifestations of aGVHD in animal models. These data support further clinical trials aimed at evaluating the efficacy of using MSCs to prevent aGVHD.

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