Mesenchymal Stem Cells Induce an Inflammatory Response After Intravenous Infusion

Martin Hoogduijn, Marieke Rhijn, AU Engela, Sander Korevaar, Fane Mensah, Marcella Franquesa, Ron de Bruin, M.G.H. Betjes, Willem Weimar, Carla Baan

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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have potent immunosuppressive effects in vitro and are considered as a therapeutic option for autoimmune disease and organ transplantation. While MSCs show beneficial effects on immune disease progression and transplant survival in animal models, the immunomodulatory mechanisms involved are largely unknown. In the present study, we show that intravenously infused C57BL/6- green fluorescent protein (GFP) MSCs home to the lungs in C57BL/6 recipient mice and induce an inflammatory response. This response was characterized by increased mRNA expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP1), IL1-, and TNF- and an increase in macrophages in lung tissue 2h after MSC infusion. Simultaneously, serum levels of proinflammatory IL6, CXCL1, and MCP1 protein increased, demonstrating systemic immune activation after MSC infusion. In liver tissue, no C57BL/6-GFP MSCs were detected, but MCP1 and TNF- mRNA levels peaked 4h after MSC infusion. The expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokines TGF-, IL4, and IL10 was only marginally affected. Nevertheless, 3 days after MSC infusion, animals developed a milder inflammatory response to lipopolysaccharides. Our results suggest that the in vivo immunomodulatory effects of MSCs originate from an inflammatory response that is induced by the infusion of MSCs, which is followed by a phase of reduced immune reactivity.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2825-2835
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-39-05
  • EMC MM-04-47-07

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