Human Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Display a Novel Interaction between P-Selectin and Galectin-1



Human multipotent mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to exert immunomodulatory properties that have great potential in therapies for various inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. However, intravenous delivery of these cells is followed by massive cell entrapment in the lungs and insufficient homing to target tissues or organs. In targeting to tissues, MSCs and other therapeutic cells employ similar mechanisms as leucocytes, including a cascade of rolling and adhesion steps mediated by selectins, integrins and their ligands. However, the mechanisms of MSCs homing are not well understood. We discovered that P-selectin (CD62P) binds to umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived MSCs independently of the previously known sialyl Lewis x (sLex)-containing ligands such as P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1, CD162). By biochemical assays, we identified galectin-1 as a novel ligand for P-selectin. Galectin-1 has previously been shown to be a key mediator of the immunosuppressive effects of human MSCs. We conclude that this novel interaction is likely to play a major role in the immunomodulatory targeting of human UCB-derived MSCs.