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Cell Immunol. 2011;272(1):33-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2011.09.010. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Immunomodulatory effect of human umbilical cord Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells on lymphocytes.

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Bioengineering Department of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China.


Studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have low immunogenicity and immune regulation. Human umbilical cord Wharton's jelly provides a new source for MSCs that are highly proliferative and have multi-differentiation potential. To investigate immunomodulatory effects of human Wharton's jelly cells (WJCs) on lymphocytes, we successfully isolated MSCs from human umbilical cord Wharton's jelly. WJCs expressed MSC markers but low levels of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-ABC and no HLA-DR. These results indicate that WJCs have low immunogenicity. Both WJCs and their culture supernatant could inhibit the proliferation of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated human peripheral blood lymphocytes and mouse splenocytes. Additionally, WJCs suppressed secretion of transforming growth factor-β1 and interferon-γ by human peripheral blood lymphocytes. We conclude that the immunomodulatory effect of WJCs may be related to direct cell contact and inhibition of cytokine secretion by human peripheral blood lymphocytes.

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