Human Amniotic Epithelial Cells Affect the Functions of Neutrophils

Int J Stem Cells. 2020 Jul 30;13(2):212-220. doi: 10.15283/ijsc19155.


Background and objectives: As a stem cell group, Human amniotic epithelial cells (HAECs) have numerous advantages over their embryonic and adult counterparts for therapeutic utility. They are closer to clinical applications compared to other stem cell types. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties of HAECs toward several immune cells have been shown previously. Nevertheless, despite the ever-increasing importance of neutrophils in the immune and non-immune processes, a few studies investigated the interaction of neutrophils and HAECs. To increase the current knowledge of HAECs immunology which is necessary for optimizing their future clinical applications, here we explored the effect of HAECs on two chief neutrophil functions; respiratory burst and phagocytosis.

Methods and results: Freshly isolated human blood neutrophils were co-cultured with different number of HAECs for about 24 or 48 hours, then the oxidative burst and phagocytosis of stimulated neutrophils were assessed and compared. The results demonstrated a substantial elevation in the phagocytosis percentage, conversely a significant reduction in the oxidative burst of HAECs-cocultured neutrophils. These effects were dose-dependent, but did not show similar patterns. Likewise, the elongation of coculture period inversely influenced the HAECs-induced effects on the two neutrophil functions.

Conclusions: The present study, for the first time, investigated the HAECs-mediated effects on the two main neutrophil functions. The findings suggest that HAECs by enhancement of phagocytic ability and simultaneously, attenuation of oxidative burst capacity of neutrophils protect the fetus from both microbial treats and oxidative stress and their consequent inflammation; thus corroborate the current anti-inflammatory vision of HAECs.

Keywords: Human amniotic epithelial cells; Neutrophils; Oxidative burst; Phagocytosis.