Immunoregulation by Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Biological Aspects and Clinical Applications
Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) display immunomodulatory features, representing a promising tool for cell-based therapies. However, the mechanisms used by MSCs to regulate T cell fate remain unclear. We investigated the potential of BM-MSCs to modulate T cell activation, proliferation, cytokine secretion and immunophenotype. T cells were co-cultured with BM-MSCs to assess their immunomodulatory impact. T cell characterization was performed using cell tracing, ELISA, intracellular and surface staining, flow cytometry analysis and qPCR. The activation and proliferation of T cells were downregulated during coculture with BM-MSCs. We also observed that BM-MSCs upregulated IL-10 secretion as well as the expression of its receptor CD210 on T cells, thus creating a loop favoring the expansion of IL-10-producing T cells. IL-10 neutralization restored T cell proliferation, demonstrating that IL-10 is functionally relevant during immunomodulation. Moreover, BM-MSCs differently modulated CD4 and CD8 T-cell immunophenotype by inducing broad changes in their molecular pattern. We provide a comprehensive functional and molecular characterization of T cells that are immunomodulated by BM-MSCs. Indeed, a better understanding of the immunological interplay between T cells and MSCs will facilitate the development of new efficient approaches to improve cell-based immune therapies.