Human mesenchymal stromal cells suppress T-cell proliferation independent of heme oxygenase-1.

PMID 25595329


Mesenchymal stromal cells deploy immune suppressive properties amenable for use as cell therapy for inflammatory disorders. It is now recognized that mesenchymal stromal cells necessitate priming with an inflammatory milieu, in particular interferon-γ, to exert augmented immunosuppressive effects. It has been recently suggested that the heme-catabolizing enzyme heme oxygenase-1 is an essential component of the mesenchymal stromal cell-driven immune suppressive response. Because mesenchymal stromal cells upregulate indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase expression on interferon-γ priming and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase requires heme as a cofactor for optimal catabolic function, we investigated the potential antagonism of heme oxygenase-1 activity on indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase and the impact on mesenchymal stromal cell immune plasticity. We herein sought to evaluate the molecular genetic effect of cytokine priming on human mesenchymal stromal cell heme oxygenase-1 expression and its functional role in differentially primed mesenchymal stromal cells. Contrary to previous reports, messenger RNA and protein analyses demonstrated that mesenchymal stromal cells derived from normal subjects (n = 6) do not express heme oxygenase-1 at steady state or after interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and/or transforming growth factor-β priming. Pharmacological inhibition of heme oxygenase-1 with the use of tin protoporphyrin did not significantly abrogate the ability of mesenchymal stromal cells to suppress T-cell proliferation in vitro. Overall, these results unequivocally demonstrate that under steady state and after cytokine priming, human mesenchymal stromal cells immunoregulate T-cell proliferation independent of heme oxygenase-1.

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