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Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2009 May;76(3):225-30. doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.20461.

A decreased positivity for CD90 on human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) is associated with a loss of immunosuppressive activity by MSCs.

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  • 1Hematology Section, University, St. Anna Hospital, Corso Giovecca n. 203, Ferrara, Italy.


Biologic and clinical interest in human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSC) has risen over the last years, mainly due to their immunosuppressive properties. In this study, we investigated the basis of immunomodulant possible variability using hMSC from different sources (amniotic membrane, chorion, and bone marrow from either healthy subjects or patients with hematological malignancies, HM) and having discordant positivity for several immunological markers. The CD90+ hMSC reduced lymphoproliferative response in phytohemagglutinin (PHA) activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) via sHLA-G and IL-10 up-modulation. On the contrary, hMSC showing a significantly lower expression for CD90 antigen, elicited a lymphoproliferative allogeneic response in PHA/PBMCs without any increase in soluble HLA-G and IL-10 levels. These data seems to suggest that CD90 molecule may be considered a novel predictive marker for hMSC inhibitory ability, and might cooperate with HLA-G molecule in regulating suppressive versus stimulatory properties of hMSC. These results may have clinical implication in either transplantation or in regenerative medicine fields.

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