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Cell Transplant. 2015;24(10):2065-76. doi: 10.3727/096368914X685230. Epub 2014 Oct 20.

Human Amnion-Derived Stem Cells Have Immunosuppressive Properties on NK Cells and Monocytes.

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Department of Regenerative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan.


Human amnion-derived cells are considered to be a promising alternative cell source for their potential clinical use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine because of their proliferation and differentiation ability. The cells can easily be obtained from human amnion, offering a potential source without medical intervention. It has been proven that human amnion-derived cells express immunosuppressive factors CD59 and HLA-G, implying that they may have an immunosuppressive function. To assess the immunosuppressive activity, we investigated the effect of human amnion-derived cells on NK cell and monocyte function. Amnion-derived cells inhibited the cytotoxicity of NK cells to K562 cells. The inhibition depended on the NK/amnion-derived cell ratio. The inhibition of NK cytotoxicity was recovered by continuous culturing without amnion-derived cells. The inhibition of NK cytotoxicity was related to the downregulation of the expression of the activated NK receptors and the production of IFN-γ, as well as the upregulation of the expression of IL-10 and PGE2 in human amnion-derived cells. The addition of antibody to IL-10 or PGE2 inhibitor tended to increase NK cytotoxicity. IL-10 and PGE2 might be involved in the immunosuppressive activity of amniotic cells toward NK cells. Amniotic cells also suppressed the activity of cytokine production in monocytes analyzed with TNF-α and IL-6. These data suggested that amniotic cells have immunosuppressive activity.

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