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Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:154919. doi: 10.1155/2013/154919. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Effect of ex vivo culture conditions on immunosuppression by human mesenchymal stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-710, Republic of Korea.


A microarray analysis was performed to investigate whether ex vivo culture conditions affect the characteristics of MSCs. Gene expression profiles were mainly influenced by the level of cell confluence rather than initial seeding density. The analysis showed that 276 genes were upregulated and 230 genes downregulated in MSCs harvested at ~90% versus ~50% confluence (P < 0.05, FC > 2). The genes that were highly expressed in MSCs largely corresponded to chemotaxis, inflammation, and immune responses, indicating direct or indirect involvement in immunomodulatory functions. Specifically, PTGES and ULBP1 were up-regulated in MSCs harvested at high density. Treatment of MSCs with PTGES or ULBP1 siRNA reversed their inhibition of T-cell proliferation in vitro. The culture conditions such as cell confluence at harvest seem to be important for gene expression profile of MSCs; therefore, the results of this study may provide useful guidelines for the harvest of MSCs that can appropriately suppress the immune response.

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