There is yet no cure for type 1 diabetes (T1DM) so far. A significant body of evidence has demonstrated that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) showed great potential in controlling T1DM. But there exists much difficulty in using BMSCs as a clinical therapy. We here test whether a new population of mesenchymal stem cells from human gingiva (GMSCs), which has many advantages over BMSCs, can delay or prevent progress of T1DM. GMSCs were adoptively transferred to multiple low-dose streptozotocin (STZ)-induced T1DM. Blood glucose levels and disease severities were analyzed. T cells subsets in blood, spleen and lymph nodes were detected dynamically by flow cytometry. GMSC distribution was dynamically analyzed. We found that infusion of GMSCs but not fibroblast cells significantly controlled blood glucose levels, delayed diabetes onset, ameliorated pathology scores in pancreas, and down-regulated production of IL-17 and IFN-γ in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in spleens, pancreatic lymph nodes (pLN) and other lymph nodes. GMSCs also up-regulated the levels of CD4+ Treg induced in the periphery. Mechanismly, GMSCs could migrate to pancreas and local lymph node and function through CD39/CD73 pathway to regulate effector T cells. Thus, GMSCs show a potential promise in treating T1DM in the clinic.
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