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Keywords:

  • Stem cell transplantation;
  • Graft-versus-host disease;
  • Immunosuppression;
  • Mesenchymal stem cells;
  • Experimental model

Abstract

Previous studies have shown the relevance of bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) in controlling graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic transplantation. Since adipose tissue-derived MSCs (Ad-MSCs) may constitute a good alternative to BM-MSCs, we have expanded MSCs derived from human adipose tissue (hAd-MSCs) and mouse adipose tissue (mAd-MSCs), investigated the immunoregulatory properties of these cells, and evaluated their capacity to control GVHD in mice. The phenotype and immunoregulatory properties of expanded hAd-MSCs were similar to those of human BM-MSCs. Moreover, hAd-MSCs inhibited the proliferation and cytokine secretion of human primary T cells in response to mitogens and allogeneic T cells. Similarly, ex vivo expanded mAd-MSCs had an equivalent immunophenotype and exerted immunoregulatory properties similar to those of hAd-MSCs. Moreover, the infusion of mAd-MSCs in mice transplanted with haploidentical hematopoietic grafts controlled the lethal GVHD that occurred in control recipient mice. These findings constitute the first experimental proof that Ad-MSCs can efficiently control the GVHD associated with allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation, opening new perspectives for the clinical use of Ad-MSCs.