BMI1 inhibits senescence and enhances the immunomodulatory properties of human mesenchymal stem cells via the direct suppression of MKP-1/DUSP1.
ABSTRACT: For the application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as clinical therapeutics, the regulation of cellular aging is important to protect hMSCs from an age-associated decline in their function. In this study, we evaluated the effects of hypoxia on cellular senescence and the immunomodulatory abilities of hUCB-MSCs. Hypoxic-cultured hUCB-MSCs showed enhanced proliferation and had increased immunosuppressive effects on mitogen-induced mononuclear cell proliferation. We found that BMI1, a member of the polycomb repressive complex protein group, showed increased expression in hypoxic-cultured hUCB-MSCs, and the further knock-down of BMI1 in hypoxic cells induced decreased proliferative and immunomodulatory abilities in hUCB-MSCs, along with COX-2/PGE2 down-regulation. Furthermore, the expression of phosphorylated p38 MAP kinase increased in response to the over-expression of BMI1 in normoxic conditions, suggesting that BMI1 regulates the immunomodulatory properties of hUCB-MSCs via p38 MAP kinase-mediated COX-2 expression. More importantly, we identified BMI1 as a direct repressor of MAP kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1)/DUSP1, which suppresses p38 MAP kinase activity. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that BMI1 plays a key role in the regulation of the immunomodulatory properties of hUCB-MSCs, and we suggest that these findings might provide a strategy to enhance the functionality of hUCB-MSCs for use in therapeutic applications.
Project description:Arachidonic acid (AA) is largely released during injury, but it has not been fully studied yet how AA modulates wound repair with stem cells. Therefore, we investigated skin wound-healing effect of AA-stimulated human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) in vivo and its molecular mechanism in vitro. We found that transplantation of hUCB-MSCs pre-treated with AA enhanced wound filling, re-epithelization, and angiogenesis in a mouse skin excisional wound model. AA significantly promoted hUCB-MSCs migration after a 24?h incubation, which was inhibited by the knockdown of G-protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40). AA activated mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) and Aktser473 through the GPR40/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling, which was responsible for the stimulation of an atypical protein kinase C (PKC) isoform, PKC?. Subsequently, AA stimulated phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and transcription factor Sp1, and induced membrane type 3-matrix metalloproteinase (MT3-MMP)-dependent fibronectin degradation in promoting hUCB-MSCs motility. Finally, the silencing of MT3-MMP in AA-stimulated hUCB-MSCs failed to promote the repair of skin wounds owing to impaired cell motility. In conclusion, AA enhances skin wound healing through induction of hUCB-MSCs motility by MT3-MMP-mediated fibronectin degradation, which relies on GPR40-dependent mTORC2 signaling pathways.
Project description:REX1/ZFP42 is a well-known embryonic stem cell (ESC) marker. However, the role of REX1, itself, is relatively unknown because the function of REX1 has only been reported in the differentiation of ESCs via STAT signaling pathways. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) isolated from young tissues and cancer cells express REX1.Human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (hUCB-MSCs) and adipose tissue-derived MSCs (hAD-MSCs) strongly express REX1 and have a lower activation status of p38 MAPK, but bone marrow-derived MSCs (hBM-MSCs) have weak REX1 expression and higher activation of p38 MAPK. These results indicated that REX1 expression in hMSCs was positively correlated with proliferation rates but inversely correlated with the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. In hUCB-MSCs, the roles of REX1 and p38 MAPK were investigated, and a knockdown study was performed using a lentiviral vector-based small hairpin RNA (shRNA). After REX1 knockdown, decreased cell proliferation was observed. In REX1 knocked-down hUCB-MSCs, the osteogenic differentiation ability deteriorated, but the adipogenic potential increased or was similar to that observed in the controls. The phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in hUCB-MSCs significantly increased after REX1 knockdown. After p38 MAPK inhibitor treatment, the cell growth in REX1 knocked-down hUCB-MSCs almost recovered, and the suppressed expression levels of CDK2 and CCND1 were also restored. The expression of MKK3, an upstream regulator of p38 MAPK, significantly increased in REX1 knocked-down hUCB-MSCs. The direct binding of REX1 to the MKK3 gene was confirmed by a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay.These findings showed that REX1 regulates the proliferation/differentiation of hMSCs through the suppression of p38 MAPK signaling via the direct suppression of MKK3. Therefore, p38 MAPK and REX-1 status can determine the cell fate of adult stem cells (ASCs). These results were the first to show the role of REX1 in the proliferation/differentiation of ASCs.
Project description:Human adult stem cells, including umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs), have recently been considered a promising alternative treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) due to their unique immunomodulatory properties and ability to promote tissue regeneration. However, despite many years of research and pre-clinical studies, results from clinical trials using these cells have been diverse and conflicting. This discrepancy is caused by several factors, such as poor engraftment, low survival rate, and donor-dependent variation of the cells. Enhancement of consistency and efficacy of MSCs remains a challenge for the feasibility of cell-based therapy. In this study, we investigated whether administration of MIS416, a novel microparticle that activates NOD2 and TLR9 signaling, could enhance the therapeutic efficacy of hUCB-MSCs against Crohn's disease, using dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model. Colitis was experimentally induced in mice by using 3% DSS, and mice were administered a retro-orbital injection of MIS416 and subsequent intraperitoneal injection of hUCB-MSCs. Mice were examined grossly, and blood, spleen, and colon tissues were subsequently collected for further ex vivo analyses. To explore the effects of MIS416 on the therapeutic process, hUCB-MSCs and primary isolated immune cells were cultured with MIS416, and in vitro assays were performed. Compared to the single administration of hUCB-MSCs, co-administration with MIS416 improved the therapeutic efficiency of the stem cells by significantly alleviating the symptoms of IBD. Interestingly, MIS416 did not exert any direct effect on the immunomodulatory capacity of hUCB-MSCs. Instead, systemically injected MIS416 altered the immune milieu in the colon which caused hUCB-MSCs to be more readily recruited toward the lesion site and to suppress inflammation more efficiently. In addition, considerable numbers of regulatory immune cells were stimulated as a result of the cooperation of MIS416 and hUCB-MSCs. These findings indicate that co-administration with MIS416 enhances the therapeutic potential of hUCB-MSCs by systemically regulating the immune response, which might be an effective strategy for overcoming the current obstacles to stem cell therapy in clinical practice.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have broad-spectrum therapeutic effects in various diseases, and thus have many clinical applications. However, it is difficult to produce sufficient numbers of MSCs for clinical use, and improved culture systems are required. Here, we report the effects of calcium (Ca2+) and hypoxia on the proliferation of human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (hUCB-MSCs). In addition, we determined the optimal conditions of these two factors for the large-scale culture of hUCB-MSCs.hUCB-MSCs were maintained under hypoxic conditions (3% O2) with 1.8 mM Ca2+ during long-term culture, and their proliferation was evaluated. To characterize the underlying mechanisms, the effects on hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1? and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways were investigated. The therapeutic effects in a mouse emphysema model were analyzed and compared with those of naive MSCs.The proliferation of Ca2+/hypoxia-treated hUCB-MSCs was increased compared with that observed using either calcium or hypoxia culture alone, without loss of stem cell marker expression or differentiation ability. The enhancement of the proliferation capacity of hUCB-MSCs by the synergistic effects of Ca2+ and hypoxia was dependent on the expression of HIF-1? and the ERK signaling pathway. The proliferation of Ca2+/hypoxia-treated hUCB-MSCs resulted in a delayed senescence phenotype and increased the expression levels of stemness genes such as Oct4 and Nanog compared to those observed in conventional culture conditions. In addition, Ca2+/hypoxia-treated MSCs transplantation in the mouse emphysema model showed the same therapeutic effects as observed with naive MSCs.These findings suggest that a Ca2+/hypoxia-based expansion system has applications for the large-scale production of MSCs for therapeutic purposes.
Project description:Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-lasting intractable autoimmune disorder, which has become a substantial public health problem. Despite widespread use of biologic drugs, there have been uncertainties in efficacy and long-term safety. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been suggested as a promising alternative for the treatment of RA because of their immunomodulatory properties. However, the precise mechanisms of MSCs on RA-related immune cells are not fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (hUCB-MSCs) as a new therapeutic strategy for patients with RA and to explore the mechanisms underlying hUCB-MSC-mediated immunomodulation. Mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were administered with hUCB-MSCs after the onset of disease, and therapeutic efficacy was assessed. Systemic delivery of hUCB-MSCs significantly ameliorated the severity of CIA to a similar extent observed in the etanercept-treated group. hUCB-MSCs exerted this therapeutic effect by regulating macrophage function. To verify the regulatory effects of hUCB-MSCs on macrophages, macrophages were co-cultured with hUCB-MSCs. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?-mediated activation of cyclooxygenase-2 and TNF-stimulated gene/protein 6 in hUCB-MSCs polarized naive macrophages toward an M2 phenotype. In addition, hUCB-MSCs down-regulated the activation of nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat pyrin 3 inflammasome via a paracrine loop of interleukin-1? signaling. These immune-balancing effects of hUCB-MSCs were reproducible in co-culture experiments using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with active RA. hUCB-MSCs can simultaneously regulate multiple cytokine pathways in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines elevated in RA microenvironment, suggesting that treatment with hUCB-MSCs could be an attractive candidate for patients with treatment-refractory RA.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sepsis is a global inflammatory disease that causes death. It has been reported that mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment can attenuate inflammatory and septic symptoms. In this study, we investigated how interactions between neutrophils and human umbilical cord blood (hUCB)-MSCs in the liver of septic mice are involved in mitigating sepsis that is mediated by MSCs. Accordingly, we aimed to determine whether hUCB-MSC application could be an appropriate treatment for sepsis. METHODS:To induce septic condition, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected into mice 24?h after the intravenous (i.v.) injection of saline or hUCB-MSCs. To determine the effect of hUCB-MSCs on the immune response during sepsis, histologic analysis, immunoassays, and two-photon intravital imaging were performed 6?h post-LPS injection. For the survival study, mice were monitored for 6?days after LPS injection. RESULTS:The injection (i.v.) of hUCB-MSCs alleviated the severity of LPS-induced sepsis by increasing IL-10 levels (p?<?0.001) and decreasing mortality (p?<?0.05) in septic mice. In addition, this significantly reduced the recruitment of neutrophils (p?<?0.001) to the liver. In hUCB-MSC-treated condition, we also observed several distinct patterns of dynamic interactions between neutrophils and hUCB-MSCs in the inflamed mouse liver, as well as vigorous interactions between hepatic stellate cells (HSCs or ito cells) and hUCB-MSCs. Interestingly, hUCB-MSCs that originated from humans were not recognized as foreign in the mouse body and consequently did not cause graft rejection. CONCLUSIONS:These distinct interaction patterns between innate immune cells and hUCB-MSCs demonstrated that hUCB-MSCs have beneficial effects against LPS-induced sepsis through associations with neutrophils. In addition, the immunomodulatory properties of hUCB-MSCs might enable immune evasion in the host. Taken together, our results suggest the prospects of hUCB-MSCs as a therapeutic tool to inhibit inflammation and alleviate pathological immune responses such as sepsis.
Project description:Stem cell-based therapy is one of the most attractive approaches to ischemic heart diseases, such as myocardial infarction (MI). We evaluated the cardio-protective effects of the human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) stably expressing lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 (LEF1; LEF1/hUCB-MSCs) in a rat model of MI. LEF1 overexpression in hUCB-MSCs promoted cell-proliferation and anti-apoptotic effects in hypoxic conditions. For the application of its therapeutic effects in vivo, the LEF1 gene was introduced into an adeno-associated virus integration site 1 (AAVS1) locus, known as a safe harbor site on chromosome 19 by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene integration in hUCB-MSCs. Transplantation of LEF1/hUCB-MSCs onto the infarction region in the rat model significantly improved overall survival. The cardio-protective effect of LEF1/hUCB-MSCs was proven by echocardiogram parameters, including greatly improved left-ventricle ejection fraction (EF) and fractional shortening (FS). Moreover, histology and immunohistochemistry successfully presented reduced MI region and fibrosis by LEF1/hUCB-MSCs. We found that these overall positive effects of LEF1/hUCB-MSCs are attributed by increased proliferation and survival of stem cells in oxidative stress conditions and by the secretion of various growth factors by LEF1. In conclusion, this study suggests that the stem cell-based therapy, conjugated with genome editing of transcription factor LEF1, which promotes cell survival, could be an effective therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular disease.
Project description:Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), including human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs), which have high proliferation capacity and immunomodulatory properties, are considered to be a good candidate for cell-based therapies. hMSCs show enhanced therapeutic effects via paracrine secretion or cell-to-cell contact that modulates inflammatory or immune reactions. Here, treatment with cobalt chloride (CoCl2) was more effective than naïve hUCB-MSCs in suppressing inflammatory responses in a coculture system with phytohemagglutinin- (PHA-) activated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMCs). Furthermore, the effect of CoCl2 is exerted by promoting the expression of anti-inflammatory mediators (e.g., PGE2) and inhibiting that of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF-? and IFN-?). Treatment of hUCB-MSCs with CoCl2 leads to increased expression of microRNA- (miR-) 146a, which was reported to modulate anti-inflammatory responses. Hypoxia-inducible factor- (HIF-) 1? silencing and ERK inhibition abolished CoCl2-induced miR-146a expression, suggesting that ERK and HIF-1? signals are required for CoCl2-induced miR-146a expression in hUCB-MSCs. These data suggest that treatment with CoCl2 enhances the immunosuppressive capacity of hUCB-MSCs through the ERK-HIF-1?-miR-146a-mediated signaling pathway. Furthermore, pretreatment of transplanted MSCs with CoCl2 can suppress lung inflammation more than naïve MSCs can in a mouse model of asthma. These findings suggest that CoCl2 may improve the therapeutic effects of hUCB-MSCs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells that present immunosuppressive effects in experimental and clinical trials targeting various rare diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In addition, recent studies have reported tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (WRS) possess uncanonical roles such as angiostatic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, little is known about the function of WRS in MSC-based therapy. In this study, we investigated if a novel factor, WRS, secreted from MSCs has a role in amelioration of IBD symptoms and determined a specific mechanism underlying MSC therapy. Experimental colitis was induced by administration of 3% DSS solution to 8-week-old mice and human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (hUCB-MSCs) were injected intraperitoneally. Secretion of WRS from hUCB-MSCs and direct effect of WRS on isolated CD4? T cells was determined via in vitro experiments and hUCB-MSCs showed significant therapeutic rescue against experimental colitis. Importantly, WRS level in serum of colitis induced mice decreased and recovered by administration of MSCs. Through in vitro examination, WRS expression of hUCB-MSCs increased when cells were treated with interferon-? (IFN-?). WRS was evaluated and revealed to have a role in inhibiting activated T cells by inducing apoptosis. In summary, IFN-?- mediated secretion of WRS from MSCs has a role in suppressive effect on excessive inflammation and disease progression of IBD and brings new highlights in the immunomodulatory potency of hUCB-MSCs. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(5): 318-323].
Project description:In this study, we established and characterized human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) from four different donors. However, the hUCB-MSCs showed remarkable variations in their therapeutic efficacy for repairing rat infarcted myocardium (including the process of angiogenesis) 8 weeks after transplantation. In addition, we observed that the level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is correlated with the therapeutic efficacy of the four hUCB-MSCs. Next, to investigate the practical application of hUCB-MSCs, we searched for surface signature molecules that could serve as indicators of therapeutic efficacy. The gene for N-cadherin was the only cell surface gene that was highly expressed in the most effective hUCB-MSCs, both at the transcriptional and translational levels. We observed downregulation and upregulation of VEGF in response to N-cadherin blocking and N-cadherin overexpression, respectively. Activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), but not protein kinase B, was increased when N-cadherin expression was increased, whereas disruption of N-cadherin-mediated cell-cell contact induced suppression of ERK activation and led to VEGF downregulation. Moreover, by investigating hUCB-MSCs overexpressing N-cadherin or N-cadherin knockdown hUCB-MSCs, we confirmed the in vivo function of N-cadherin. In addition, we observed that DiI-labeled hUCB-MSCs express N-cadherin in the peri-infarct area and interact with cardiomyocytes.