Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Exert Antiinflammatory Effects on Chondrocytes and Synoviocytes From Osteoarthritis Patients Through Prostaglandin E2




To examine the effect of different sources of Good Manufacturing Practice clinical grade adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) on inflammatory factors in osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes and synoviocytes.


AD-MSCs from infrapatellar Hoffa fat, subcutaneous (SC) hip fat, and SC abdominal fat were cocultured in Transwells with chondrocytes or synoviocytes. Inflammatory factors (interleukin-1β [IL-1β], tumor necrosis factor α, IL-6, CXCL1/growth-related oncogene α, CXCL8/IL-8, CCL2/monocyte chemotactic protein 1, CCL3/macrophage inflammatory protein 1α, and CCL5/RANTES) were evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction or multiplex bead–based immunoassay. The role of different immunomodulators was analyzed.


All the inflammatory factors analyzed were down-modulated at the messenger RNA or protein level independently by all 3 AD-MSC sources or by allogeneic AD-MSCs used in coculture with chondrocytes or synoviocytes. Inflammatory factor down-modulation was observed only when AD-MSCs were cocultured with chondrocytes or synoviocytes that produced high levels of inflammatory factors, but no effect was observed in cells that produced low levels of those factors, thus highlighting a dependence of the AD-MSC effect on existing inflammation. The immunomodulators IL-10, IL-1 receptor antagonist, fibroblast growth factor 2, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1, and galectin 1 were not involved in AD-MSC effects, whereas the cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2)/prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) pathway exerted a role in the mechanism of antiinflammatory AD-MSC action.


The antiinflammatory effects of AD-MSCs are probably not dependent on AD-MSC adipose tissue sources and donors but rather on the inflammatory status of OA chondrocytes and synoviocytes. AD-MSCs seem to be able to sense and respond to the local environment. Even though a combination of different molecules may be involved in AD-MSC effects, the COX-2/PGE2 pathway may play a role, suggesting that AD-MSCs may be useful for therapies in osteoarticular diseases.