Author(s): Chan CK, Wu KH, Lee YS, Hwang SM, Lee MS,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Although human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from various sources display immunomodulatory effects, direct comparisons among these classes of stem cells have not been reported. METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cell suppression assays and carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester assays were used to assess the immunosuppressive effects of stem cells. Gene expression was measured using DNA microarrays. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to determine interleukin (IL)-6 levels. RESULTS: We found that fetal-type MSCs proliferated significantly faster than adult-type MSCs. Compared with ESCs grown on feeder cells, ESCs grown in feeder cell-free conditions exhibited decreased immunosuppressive effects. The suppressive effects of ESCs were significantly stronger than those of MSCs, and the suppressive effects of fetal-type MSCs were significantly stronger than those of adult-type MSCs at each tested dose level. Analysis of gene expression by microarray and MetaCore pathway mapping revealed changes in eight different immune response pathways; we observed that IL-6 gene expression was highly significantly involved in all eight pathways. Significantly higher IL-6 elevation ratios (IL-6after:IL-6before) were found in ESCs compared with fetal-type MSCs, and these were also found in fetal-type MSCs compared with adult-type MSCs. Furthermore, IL-6 levels were found to correlate with cell dosages of MSCs and the suppressive effects. CONCLUSIONS: The ease of obtaining fetal-type MSCs and their rapid proliferation make these cells ideal candidates for cell-based therapies, especially for diseases associated with immune responses, given the immunosuppressive effects of these cells. IL-6 might play an important role in the immunosuppressive effects of various stem cells.
This article was published in Transplantation
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy