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Immunol Lett. 2007 Jan 15;108(1):78-87. Epub 2006 Nov 27.

Immune regulation of T lymphocyte by a newly characterized human umbilical cord blood stem cell.

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  • 1Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1819 W. Polk Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Previous work identified a novel type of stem cell from human umbilical cord blood, designated cord blood-stem cells (CB-SC). To further evaluate their immune characteristics, we cocultured CB-SC with allogeneic peripheral blood lymphocytes in the presence of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) or interleukin-2 (IL-2). Results showed that CB-SC could significantly inhibit lymphocyte proliferation and reduce tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT5 in both PHA- and IL-2-stimulated lymphocytes, along with the regulation on the phenotypes of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Additionally, CB-SC also suppressed the proliferation of IL-2-stimulated CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. Mechanism studies revealed that programmed death receptor-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) expressed on CB-SC membrane, together with a soluble factor nitric oxide (NO) released by PHA-stimulated CB-SC, not prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1), mainly contributed to the T cell suppression induced by CB-SC, as demonstrated by blocking experiments with a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor (Nomega-nitro-l-arginine, l-NNA) and a neutralizing antibody to PD-L1. Our findings may advance our understanding of the immunobiology of stem cells and facilitate the therapeutic application of cord blood stem cells.

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