Mechanisms of T-cell immunosuppression by mesenchymal stromal cells: what do we know so far?

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:216806. doi: 10.1155/2014/216806. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

Abstract

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells, which can give rise to several cell types including osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondroblasts. These cells can be found in a variety of adult and fetal tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, cord blood, and placenta. In recent years, the biological properties of MSCs have attracted the attention of researchers worldwide due to their potential application for treating a series of clinical situations. Among these properties, special attention should be given to the immunoregulatory potential of those cells. MSCs are able to act on all cells of the immune system, which includes the capacity to inhibit the proliferation and function of T-cells. This feature renders them natural candidates to treat several diseases in which cellular immune response is exacerbated. In this review, we outline the main mechanisms by which MSCs immunosuppress T-cell response, focusing on cell-cell contact, secretion of soluble factors, and regulatory T-cell generation. The influence of surface markers in the immunosuppression process and features of MSCs isolated from different sources are also discussed. Finally, the influences of toll-like receptors and cytokines on the inflammatory microenvironment are highlighted regarding the activation of MSCs to exert their immunoregulatory function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Chondrocytes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunosuppression*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*