Healthy Living

Study Finds New Breakthrough for Lupus: Transplanting Placental Cells

This recent study has found that transplanting placental cells might be a potential cure for lupus. Here are their findings.

Study Finds New Breakthrough for Lupus: Transplanting Placental Cells

In a recent lab test using mice, transplantation of human placental cells suppressed immune and inflammatory responses of systemic lupus erythematosus. This success is a breakthrough in the treatment for lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic pain.

Published in the journal Cytotherapy, the study is called “Therapeutic effect of human amniotic epithelial cells in murine models of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and System lupus erythematosus.” Sounds very scientific and confusing, but the best part is the study proved that there might be a cure for lupus and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in the near future.

Different Therapies Being Tested

A potential treatment for autoimmune disease is controversial stem cell therapy. Stems cells can renew almost all types of cells in the body. Stem cell treatment uses the body’s raw materials or cells which have the ability to generate other specialized cells. Using this type of treatment could help you recover from lupus and other distressing diseases.

Scientists watch stem cells mature into cells in the heart muscle, bones, nerves, and other tissues and organs in a testing situation, and they receive a better understanding how diseases develop. Researchers have discovered that stem cells can be guided into forming specific cells and this can help regenerate and repair diseased or damaged tissues.

However, stem cell therapy faces ethical challenges, and it does carry the risk of uncontrolled cell growth or tumors. An additional backlash of stem cell therapy is the potential of rejection. Your body may not accept transplanted cells.

Another experimental therapy is using human amniotic epithelial cells or hAECs or cells from the placenta. The placenta has stem-cell-like features and does have the ability to developed into different cell types. Studies have shown that hAECs may potentially suppress immune cell activity.

hAECs carry no risk of generating tumors or transplant rejects, and there are no ethical concerns. These cells are collected from healthy women who have had a cesarean section. Studies have been done on the treatment of other autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, and these tests have been successful in animal models.

Researchers in China have evaluated the benefits of hAECs transplants in mice who have been injected with lupus disease. hAECs were injected directly into the blood of mice and blood, and tissue samples were collected about two weeks after the transplant. These procedures were necessary to assess the presence of autoantibodies and immune responses.

The results proved that hAECs treatments eliminated ANAs and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies and reduced levels of lgH antibodies. Transplanting cells from the placenta stopped the immunity system from reacting to lupus and reduced the inflammation in lupus.

More studies are necessary to determine if there will be any relapse symptoms after using hAECs. Studies are also needed to assess the safety of multiple injections, and what the dosage needs to be.

Researchers also found that hAECs treatments worked with similar effects in mouse models of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, another autoimmune disease. It the process continues to work well on lupus, Hashimoto’s and rheumatoid arthritis, it may very well work on all types of autoimmune diseases.

What Is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune, inflammatory disease triggered by the increased production of antibodies in the immune system that attacks your body’s nuclear proteins and DNA.  Lupus can damage any part of your body, and the pain and symptoms are chronic or last more than six weeks.

Your immune system goes into “destruct mode” and the antibodies the immune system produces attack your body’s tissues rather than the foreign invaders. The autoantibodies created by a damaged immune system cause inflammation, pain, and damage to different parts of your body.

Don’t worry, lupus is not contagious, and it is not related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of abnormal tissues multiplying and spreading into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Lupus is not related to HIV or IDS. In HIV and AIDS the immune system is not acting correctly; in lupus the immune system is overactive. Lupus can be mild and cause inconvenience, or it can be life-threatening.

There are symptoms of lupus you should not ignore:

  • Fatigue is one of the most common signs of lupus.
  • Hair loss and flakiness when brushing your hair. Don’t think hair loss is not a telling symptom.
  • Inflammation or swelling of the scalp can cause hair loss.
  • Fevers are frequent, but lupus fevers are unexpected, around 100°F and are often followed by inflammation and swelling.
  • Breathing issues or swelling near your lungs and diaphragm and low chest pains are often symptoms of lupus.
  • Redness or rashes on the ears chest, face or ears are symptoms. Pay particular attention if you notice a butterfly-like rash across your cheeks and nose.
  • Lesions and pain in the oral and nasal areas often mistaken for canker sores are signs of lupus.
  • You may have an intolerance for bright lights as well as sunlight. Some patients with lupus light sensitivity have light headaches, general photosensitivity, and unexplained mood changes when out in the sun.
  • Joint pain is one of the first symptoms of lupus. It can be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, but if you have other symptoms that fit the lupus profile, let your doctor know.

What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Your thyroid secretes hormones that regulate your metabolic rate, cardiovascular functions muscular control, digestion, cognitive development, and moods. You need iodine from dietary sources to maintain an optimal role in the thyroid. The thyroid is at risk of infections and disease from environmental toxin as stresses.

Hashimoto’s disease is named after a Japanese surgeon who diagnosed the disease in 1912. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder that causes signals in the brain that tell immune cells to attack a healthy thyroid gland. Attacks create inflammation in the thyroid tissue which can cause a variety of metabolic disorders as well as preventing the thyroid from producing adequate amounts of thyroid hormones.

Many signs may be from Hashimoto’s disease. If you find that you have more than three of these symptoms, you need to see your doctor for treatment.

  • Water retention or a puffy face
  • Slight weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Chronic constipation
  • Fertility issues
  • Hoarse voice and sore throat
  • Increased skin sensitivity to cold environments
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Brain fog or cognitive problems
  • Sensitivity to any medication you are currently taking.

The signs are annoying enough but if you do not get Hashimoto’s disease treated you could experience a hormonal imbalance. Other health complications could also result from untreated Hashimoto’s disease. These conditions include lupus, anemia, goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland), confusion, depression and heightened anxiety, decreased libido and fertility problems. You could also experience rheumatoid arthritis, adrenal fatigue, and Addison’s disease. Type 1 diabetes has also been reported to be a complication of Hashimoto’s disease.

Preventing these complications means getting an early diagnosis and treatment of Hashimoto’s disease. The quicker you begin treatment, the less chance of developing other health issues.


Lupus and Hashimoto’s disease cause lifestyle disruptions and risks of other diseases. You need to get on the current medications available for the conditions, stay positive, and watch for research findings.

With the recent successes of tests using human amniotic epithelial cells or hAECs, researchers report that maybe not a total cure, but an excellent help in relieving lupus and Hashimoto’s is on the horizon. The labs who are currently working with hAECs are very confident that testing using volunteers in clinical settings will bring about new therapies to help those suffering from lupus and Hashimoto’s. The news of new therapies that may soon be available is very welcome.