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Open Access Influenza Virus Infects Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells In Vitro: Implications for Bone Marrow Transplantation

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Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have differentiation, immunomodulatory, and self-renewal properties and are, therefore, an attractive tool for regenerative medicine and autoimmune diseases. MSCs may be of great value to treat graft-versus-host disease. Influenza virus causes highly contagious seasonal infection and occasional pandemics. The infection is severe in children, elderly, and immunocompromised hosts including hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. The objective of this study was to determine if MSCs are permissive to influenza virus replication. We isolated MSCs from the bone marrow of 4- to 6-week-old germ-free pigs. Swine and human influenza virus strains were used to infect MSCs in vitro. MSCs expressed known influenza virus α-2,3 and α-2,6 sialic acid receptors and supported replication of swine and human influenza viruses. Viral infection of MSCs resulted in cell lysis and proinflammatory cytokine production. These findings demonstrate that bone marrow-derived MSCs are susceptible to influenza virus. The data also suggest that transplantation of bone marrow MSCs from influenza virus-infected donors may transmit infection to recipients. Also, MSCs may get infected if infused into a patient with an ongoing influenza virus infection.

Keywords: Cell therapy; Influenza virus; Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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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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