Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Multipotent Multitaskers
Mesenchymal stem cells can be found in multiple tissues, including adipose, bone marrow, and Wharton’s Jelly—part of the umbilical cord. They are multipotent, which means they can differentiate into multiple cell lineages, including osteocytes (bone), adipocytes (fat), and chondrocytes (cartilage). Due to their multipotent nature and their ease of isolation, mesenchymal stem cells are being studied as cell-based therapies for multiple diseases. They can be used to repair damaged tissue and have been under investigation for their effects on immune modulation and use in treating autoimmune disease.
Interested in Lifeline® mesenchymal stem cell systems? Check out our catalog, which includes mesenchymal stem cells from the following tissues:
Lifeline also offers induced pluripotent derived neural stem cells, which are derived from human cord blood and have been differentiated into neural stem cells. They can be further differentiated into neural cell types, including dopaminergic neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes.
Lifeline Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Extracellular Vesicle Research
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are under investigation for the treatment of multiple diseases like osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. However, cell-based therapies are associated with a number of challenges, including inconsistent efficacy and safety issues. Exposure to inflammatory environments can induce “priming” of MSCs, whereby they become activated and switch to an immunosuppressive phenotype. In a new study this year, Andrews and co-authors explored an alternative to MSC cellular therapy: primed MSC extracellular vesicles (EVs). They hypothesized that EVs may be used to overcome some of the challenges posed by pure cell-based therapies. To prime MSCs, the group used Lifeline Wharton’s Jelly mesenchymal stem cells exposed to metabolic acidosis (LPH-MSCs and -EVs), hypoxia (LO2-MSCs and -EVs), or an inflammatory environment (INF-MSCs and -EVs); control cells were designated NC-MSCs.
First, the authors characterized the three primed types of EVs and found that LPH-MSCs and LO2-MSCs had increased EV release, while INF-EVs were larger. Additionally, the relative expression of surface markers varied between each EV type. The group then measured how well each set of primed MSC-derived EVs were taken up by T Cells and found that LPH-EVs had the highest uptake. Finally, to test their immunosuppressive activity, the authors assessed the efficacy of each group of EVs to suppress T Cell activation using flow cytometry. Their results demonstrated that T Cell activation was decreased by all three primed MSC-EV types, but only treatment with LPH-MSCs decreased cytotoxic T Cell activation and increased CD8+/CD4+ regulatory T Cells.
Together, the results of this study demonstrate that EVs derived from MSCs primed with an acidic environment have immunomodulatory activity and are a potential new alternative to cell-based therapies.
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