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Clin Exp Immunol. 2013 Aug;173(2):343-54. doi: 10.1111/cei.12120.

Human adipose-tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells induce functional de-novo regulatory T cells with methylated FOXP3 gene DNA.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Section Nephrology and Transplantation, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. a.grohnert@erasmusmc.nl


Due to their immunomodulatory properties, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are interesting candidates for cellular therapy for autoimmune disorders, graft-versus-host disease and allograft rejection. MSC inhibit the proliferation of effector T cells and induce T cells with a regulatory phenotype. So far it is unknown whether human MSC-induced CD4(+) CD25(+) CD127(-) forkhead box P3 (FoxP3)(+) T cells are functional and whether they originate from effector T cells or represent expanded natural regulatory T cells (nT(reg)). Perirenal adipose-tissue derived MSC (ASC) obtained from kidney donors induced a 2·1-fold increase in the percentage of CD25(+) CD127(-) FoxP3(+) cells within the CD4(+) T cell population from allostimulated CD25(-/dim) cells. Interleukin (IL)-2 receptor blocking prevented this induction. The ASC-induced T cells (iT(reg)) inhibited effector cell proliferation as effectively as nT(reg). The vast majority of cells within the iT(reg) fraction had a methylated FOXP3 gene T(reg)-specific demethylated region (TSDR) indicating that they were not of nT(reg) origin. In conclusion, ASC induce T(reg) from effector T cells. These iT(reg) have immunosuppressive capacities comparable to those of nT(reg). Their induction is IL-2 pathway-dependent. The dual effect of MSC of inhibiting immune cell proliferation while generating de-novo immunosuppressive cells emphasizes their potential as cellular immunotherapeutic agent.

© 2013 British Society for Immunology.


immunosuppression; induction; interleukin-2 receptor signalling; mesenchymal stem cells; regulatory T cells

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[Available on 2014/8/1]
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