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Hepatology. 2011 Mar;53(3):1007-19. doi: 10.1002/hep.24162.

Hepatic stellate cells regulate immune response by way of induction of myeloid suppressor cells in mice.

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Department of Immunology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Although organ transplants have been applied for decades, outcomes of somatic cell transplants remain disappointing, presumably due to lack of appropriate supporting stromal cells. Thus, cotransplantation with liver stromal cells, hepatic stellate cells (HSC), achieves long-term survival of islet allografts in mice by way of induction of effector T cell apoptosis and generation of regulatory T (Treg) cells. In this study we provide evidence both in vitro and in vivo that HSC can promote generation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). HSC-induced MDSC demonstrate potent immune inhibitory activity. Induction of MDSC is dependent on an intact interferon gamma signaling pathway in HSC and is mediated by soluble factors, suggesting that the specific tissue stromal cells, such as HSC, play a crucial role in regulating immune response by way of inflammation-induced generation of MDSC. Large amounts of MDSC can be propagated in vitro from bone marrow-derived myeloid precursor cells under the influence of HSC.


Cotransplantation with in vitro generated MDSC can effectively protect islet allografts from host immune attack. Local delivery of potent immune suppressor cells for cell transplants holds great clinical application potential.

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