Stem cells translational medicine

Freshly thawed and continuously cultured human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells comparably ameliorate allergic airways inflammation in immunocompetent mice.

PMID 25925837


Recent data suggest that freshly thawed previously frozen mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) may not have the same effectiveness or breadth of anti-inflammatory activities as do continuously cultured MSCs. This has significant implications for clinical use, in which many infusion schemes use frozen cells thawed at the bedside for administration. The available data, however, predominantly evaluate in vitro MSC properties, and so far there has been limited in vivo analysis. To further assess this issue, we compared freshly thawed (thawed) versus continuously cultured (fresh) human bone marrow-derived MSC (hMSC) administration in a mouse model of mixed Th2/Th17 allergic airway inflammation induced by Aspergillus hyphal extract (AHE) exposures in immunocompetent C57Bl/6 mice. Control cell populations included fresh versus thawed murine bone marrow-derived MSCs (mMSCs) and human lung fibroblasts (HLFs). Systemic administration of both thawed and fresh hMSCs and mMSCs, but not HLFs, at the onset of antigen challenge in previously sensitized mice significantly ameliorated the AHE-provoked increases in airway hyper-reactivity, lung inflammation, and antigen-specific CD4 T-cell Th2 and Th17 phenotype. Notably, there was no difference in effects of fresh versus thawed hMSCs or mMSCs on any outcome measured except for some variability in the effects on the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid composition. These results demonstrated potent xenogeneic effects of human MSCs in an immunocompetent mouse model of allergic airways inflammation and that thawed MSCs are as effective as fresh MSCs. The question of fresh versus thawed MSC effectiveness needs to be investigated carefully and may differ in different in vivo disease-specific models. This study addressed whether freshly thawed mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are as effective in in vivo settings as those that have been continuously cultured. It also provided further data demonstrating that xenogeneic use of MSCs in immunocompetent mice is as effective as murine MSCs. This information provides further support and direction for potential clinical use of MSCs in patients with severe asthma.