Mesenchymal stromal cells inhibit proliferation of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells

Leukemia. 2014 Dec;28(12):2388-94. doi: 10.1038/leu.2014.273. Epub 2014 Sep 17.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) possess broad immunomodulatory capacities that are currently investigated for potential clinical application in treating autoimmune disorders. Third-party MSCs suppress alloantigen-induced proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells providing the rationale for clinical use in graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). We confirmed that MSCs strongly inhibited proliferation of CD8(+) T cells in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. However, MSCs also suppressed proliferation of T cells specifically recognizing cytomegalovirus (CMV) and influenza virus. Inhibition was dose dependent, but independent of the culture medium. MSCs inhibited proliferation of specific CD8(+) T cells and the release of IFN-γ by specific CD8(+) T cells for immunodominant HLA-A2- and HLA-B7- restricted antigen epitopes derived from CMV phosphoprotein 65 and influenza matrix protein. This is in contrast to a recently reported scenario where MSCs exert differential effects on alloantigen and virus-specific T cells potentially having an impact on surveillance and prophylaxis of patients treated by MSCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Isoantigens / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology
  • T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity / immunology*
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / immunology
  • Viruses / immunology*


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Isoantigens
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • cytomegalovirus matrix protein 65kDa
  • Interferon-gamma