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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Mar 13;150(6):1062-1070. [Epub ahead of print]

Immunomodulatory Effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on T Lymphocyte and Cytokine Expression in Nasal Polyps.

Author information

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Biomedical Research Institute, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, South Korea.
  • 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, South Korea.
  • 3Department of Hemato-Oncology, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, South Korea.
  • 4Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, South Korea rohhj@pusan.ac.kr.



Adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) have been reported to have immunomodulatory effects in various inflammatory diseases, including asthma and allergic rhinitis, through the induction of T cell anergy. Nasal polyps (NPs) are a chronic inflammatory disease in the nose and paranasal sinus characterized histologically by the infiltration of inflammatory cells, such as eosinophils or lymphocytes. This study was performed to investigate whether ASCs have immunomodulatory effects on T lymphocyte and cytokine expression in eosinophilic NPs.


Basic science experimental study.


University tertiary care facility.


NP specimens were obtained from 20 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and eosinophilic NPs. ASCs were isolated and cultured from the abdominal fat of 15 subjects undergoing intra-abdominal surgery. Infiltrating cells (1 × 106) were isolated from NP tissue and co-cultured with 1 × 105 ASCs. To determine whether ASCs affect infiltrating T lymphocyte and cytokine expression in eosinophilic NP, T lymphocyte subsets and cytokine expression were analyzed before and after ASC treatment.


ASC treatment significantly decreased the proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. After ASC treatment, Th2 cytokine (interleukin [IL]-4 and IL-5) levels decreased significantly. In contrast, levels of Th1 (interferon-γ and IL-2) and regulatory cytokines (transforming growth factor-β and IL-10) increased significantly after ASC treatment.


ASCs have immunomodulatory effects in the eosinophilic inflammation of NPs, characterized by down-regulation of activated T lymphocytes and a Th2 immune response. These effects would be expected, over time, to significantly contribute to the control of eosinophilic inflammation and, possibly, growth of eosinophilic NPs.

© American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2014.


T lymphocytes; adipose tissue; cytokines; immunosuppression; mesenchymal stem cells; nasal polyps

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