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Stem Cells Dev. 2014 Jul 15;23(14):1582-93. doi: 10.1089/scd.2013.0433. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

Cord blood mesenchymal stem cells suppress DC-T Cell proliferation via prostaglandin B2.

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1 Department of Tumor Immunology, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre , Nijmegen, The Netherlands .


Immune suppression is a very stable property of multipotent stromal cells also known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). All cell lines tested showed robust immune suppression not affected by a long culture history. Several mechanisms were described to account for this capability. Since several of the described mechanisms were not causing the immune suppression, the expression pattern of cord-blood-derived MSCs by microarray experiments was determined. Dendritic cells cocultured with cord blood MSCs were compared with cord blood MSCs. Putative immune suppressive candidates were tested to explain this inhibition. We find that cord blood MSCs themselves are hardly immunogenic as tested with allogeneic T-cells. Dendritic cells cocultured with second-party T-cells evoked abundant proliferation that was inhibited by third-party cord blood MSCs. Optimal inhibition was seen with one cord blood MSC for every dendritic cell. Blocking human leukocyte antigen G only saw partial recovery of proliferation. Several cytokines, gangliosides, enzymes like arginase, NO synthase, and indole amine 2,3-dioxygenase as well as the induction of Treg were not involved in the inhibition. The inhibiting moiety was identified as prostaglandin B2 by lipid metabolite analysis of the culture supernatant and confirmed with purified prostaglandin B2.

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