Author(s): Benvenuto F, , Voci A, Carminati E, Gualandi F,
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Systemic delivery of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) seems to be of benefit in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) sustained by migration of T cells across the brain blood barrier (BBB) and subsequent induction of inflammatory lesions into CNS. MSC have been found to modulate several effector functions of T cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of MSC on adhesion molecules and receptors on T cell surface that sustain their transendothelial migration. METHODS: We used different co-culture methods combined with real-time PCR and flow cytometry to evaluate the expression both at the mRNA and at the plasma-membrane level of α4 integrin, β2 integrin, ICAM-1 and CXCR3. In parallel, we assessed if MSC are able to modulate expression of adhesion molecules on the endothelial cells that interact with T cells during their transendothelial migration. RESULTS: Our in vitro analyses revealed that MSC: (i) inhibit proliferation and activation of both peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and CD3(+)-selected lymphocytes through the release of soluble factors; (ii) exert suppressive effects on those surface molecules highly expressed by activated lymphocytes and involved in transendothelial migration; (iii) inhibit CXCL10-driven chemotaxis of CD3(+) cells; (iv) down-regulated expression of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these data demonstrate that the immunosuppressive effect of MSC does not exclusively depends on their anti-proliferative activity on T cells, but also on the impairment of leukocyte migratory potential through the inhibition of the adhesion molecules and receptors that are responsible for T cell trafficking across BBB. This could suggest a new mechanism through which MSC modulate T cell responses.
This article was published in Stem Cell Res Ther
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology