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Cell Immunol. 2008 Feb;251(2):116-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2008.04.003. Epub 2008 May 20.

Immunological properties of umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stromal cells.

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  • 1Medipost Biomedical Research Institute, Medipost Co Ltd, Asan Institute of Life Science, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for developing cell therapies for intractable diseases. To assess the feasibility of transplantation with human umbilical cord blood (hUCB)-derived MSCs, we analyzed the ability of these cells to function as alloantigen-presenting cells (APC) in vitro. hUCB-MSCs were strongly positive for MSC-related antigens and stained positively for human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-AB and negatively for HLA-DR. When treated with interferon (IFN)-gamma, the expression of HLA-AB and HLA-DR, but not the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, was increased. hUCB-MSCs did not provoke allogeneic PBMC (peripheral blood mononuclear cell) proliferation, even when their HLA-molecule expression was up-regulated by IFN-gamma pretreatment. When added to a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR), hUCB-MSCs actively suppressed the allogeneic proliferation of the responder lymphocytes. This suppressive effect was mediated by soluble factors. We conclude that hUCB-MSCs can suppress the allogeneic response of lymphocytes and may thus be useful in allogeneic cell therapies.

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