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Open Access Immunogenicity and Immunomodulatory Properties of Umbilical Cord Lining Mesenchymal Stem Cells

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We here present an immunologic head-to-head comparison between human umbilical cord lining mesenchymal stem cells (clMSCs) and adult bone marrow MSCs (bmMSCs) from patients >65 years of age. clMSCs had significantly lower HLA class I expression, higher production of tolerogenic TGF-β and IL-10, and showed significantly faster proliferation. In vitro activation of allogeneic lymphocytes and xenogeneic in vivo immune activation was significantly stronger with bmMSCs, whereas immune recognition of clMSCs was significantly weaker. Thus, bmMSCs were more quickly rejected in immunocompetent mice. IFN-γ at 25 ng/ml increased both immunogenicity by upregulation of HLA class I/ HLA-DR expression and tolerogenicity by increasing intracellular HLA-G and surface HLA-E expression, augmenting TGF-β and IL-10 release, and inducing indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) expression. Higher concentrations of IFN-γ (>50 ng/ml) further enhanced the immunosuppressive phenotype of clMSCs, more strongly downregulating HLA-DR expression and further increasing IDO production (at 500 ng/ml). The net functional immunosuppressive efficacy of MSCs was tested in mixed lymphocyte cultures. Although both clMSCs and bmMSCs significantly reduced in vitro immune activation, clMSCs were significantly more effective than bmMSCs. The veto function of both MSC lines was enhanced in escalating IFN-γ environments. In conclusion, clMSCs show a more beneficial immunogeneic profile and stronger overall immunosuppressive potential than aged bmMSCs.

Keywords: Immunogenicity; Immunomodulation; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Stem cell transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2011

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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