Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown a great potential for cell-based therapy and many different therapeutic purposes. Despite the recent advances in the knowledge of MSCs biology, their biochemical and molecular properties are still poorly defined. Ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases (E-NTPDases) and ecto-5′-nucleotidase (eNT/CD73) are widely expressed enzymes that hydrolyze extracellular nucleotides, generating an important cellular signaling cascade. Currently, studies have evidenced the relationship between the purinergic system and the development, maintenance, and differentiation of stem cells. The objective of this study is to identify the NTPDases and eNT/CD73 and compare the levels of nucleotide hydrolysis on MSCs isolated from different murine tissues (bone marrow, lung, vena cava, kidney, pancreas, spleen, skin, and adipose tissue). MSCs from all tissues investigated expressed the ectoenzymes at different levels. In MSCs from pancreas and adipose tissue, the hydrolysis of triphosphonucleosides was significantly higher when compared to the other cells. The diphosphonucleosides were hydrolyzed at a higher rate by MSC from pancreas when compared to MSC from other tissues. The differential nucleotide hydrolysis activity and enzyme expression in these cells suggests that MSCs play different roles in regulating the purinergic system in these tissues. Overall MSCs are an attractive adult-derived cell population for therapies, however, the fact that ecto-nucleotide metabolism can affect the microenvironment, modulating important events, such as immune response, makes the assessment of this metabolism an important part of the characterization of MSCs to be applied therapeutically. J. Cell. Biochem. 115: 1673–1682, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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