Positively Correlated CD47 Activation and Autophagy in Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells during Senescence

Stem Cells Int. 2021 Apr 15:2021:5582792. doi: 10.1155/2021/5582792. eCollection 2021.


Autophagy plays a critical role in stem cell maintenance and is related to cell growth and cellular senescence. It is important to find a quality-control marker for predicting senescent cells. This study verified that CD47 could be a candidate to select efficient mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to enhance the therapeutic effects of stem cell therapy by analyzing the antibody surface array. CD47 expression was significantly decreased during the expansion of MSCs in vitro (p < 0.01), with decreased CD47 expression correlated with accelerated senescence phenotype, which affected cell growth. UCB-MSCs transfected with CD47 siRNA significantly triggered the downregulation of pRB and upregulation of pp38, which are senescence-related markers. Additionally, autophagy-related markers, ATG5, ATG12, Beclin1, and LC3B, revealed significant downregulation with CD47 siRNA transfection. Furthermore, autophagy flux following treatment with an autophagy inducer, rapamycin, has shown that CD47 is a key player in autophagy and senescence to maintain and regulate the growth of MSCs, suggesting that CD47 may be a critical key marker for the selection of effective stem cells in cell therapy.