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1.  Type 1 regulatory T cells specific for collagen type II as an efficient cell-based therapy in arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2014;16(3):R115.
Introduction
Regulatory T (Treg) cells play a crucial role in preventing autoimmune diseases and are an ideal target for the development of therapies designed to suppress inflammation in an antigen-specific manner. Type 1 regulatory T (Tr1) cells are defined by their capacity to produce high levels of interleukin 10 (IL-10), which contributes to their ability to suppress pathological immune responses in several settings. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of collagen type II–specific Tr1 (Col-Treg) cells in two models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in mice.
Methods
Col-Treg clones were isolated and expanded from collagen-specific TCR transgenic mice. Their cytokine secretion profile and phenotype characterization were studied. The therapeutic potential of Col-Treg cells was evaluated after adoptive transfer in collagen-antibody– and collagen-induced arthritis models. The in vivo suppressive mechanism of Col-Treg clones on effector T-cell proliferation was also investigated.
Results
Col-Treg clones are characterized by their specific cytokine profile (IL-10highIL-4negIFN-γint) and mediate contact-independent immune suppression. They also share with natural Tregs high expression of GITR, CD39 and granzyme B. A single infusion of Col-Treg cells reduced the incidence and clinical symptoms of arthritis in both preventive and curative settings, with a significant impact on collagen type II antibodies. Importantly, injection of antigen-specific Tr1 cells decreased the proliferation of antigen-specific effector T cells in vivo significantly.
Conclusions
Our results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of Col-Treg cells in two models of RA, providing evidence that Col-Treg could be an efficient cell-based therapy for RA patients whose disease is refractory to current treatments.
doi:10.1186/ar4567
PMCID: PMC4075412  PMID: 24886976
6.  Microenvironmental changes during differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells towards chondrocytes 
Chondrogenesis is a process involving stem-cell differentiation through the coordinated effects of growth/differentiation factors and extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Recently, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were found within the cartilage, which constitutes a specific niche composed of ECM proteins with unique features. Therefore, we hypothesized that the induction of MSC differentiation towards chondrocytes might be induced and/or influenced by molecules from the microenvironment. Using microarray analysis, we previously identified genes that are regulated during MSC differentiation towards chondrocytes. In this study, we wanted to precisely assess the differential expression of genes associated with the microenvironment using a large-scale real-time PCR assay, according to the simultaneous detection of up to 384 mRNAs in one sample. Chondrogenesis of bone-marrow-derived human MSCs was induced by culture in micropellet for various periods of time. Total RNA was extracted and submitted to quantitative RT-PCR. We identified molecules already known to be involved in attachment and cell migration, including syndecans, glypicans, gelsolin, decorin, fibronectin, and type II, IX and XI collagens. Importantly, we detected the expression of molecules that were not previously associated with MSCs or chondrocytes, namely metalloproteases (MMP-7 and MMP-28), molecules of the connective tissue growth factor (CTGF); cef10/cyr61 and nov (CCN) family (CCN3 and CCN4), chemokines and their receptors chemokine CXC motif ligand (CXCL1), Fms-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (FlT3L), chemokine CC motif receptor (CCR3 and CCR4), molecules with A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase domain (ADAM8, ADAM9, ADAM19, ADAM23, A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type 1 motif ADAMTS-4 and ADAMTS-5), cadherins (4 and 13) and integrins (α4, α7 and β5). Our data suggest that crosstalk between ECM components of the microenvironment and MSCs within the cartilage is responsible for the differentiation of MSCs into chondrocytes.
doi:10.1186/ar2153
PMCID: PMC1906811  PMID: 17391539
7.  Transcriptional profiles discriminate bone marrow-derived and synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(6):R1304-R1315.
Previous studies have reported that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may be isolated from the synovial membrane by the same protocol as that used for synovial fibroblast cultivation, suggesting that MSC correspond to a subset of the adherent cell population, as MSC from the stromal compartment of the bone marrow (BM). The aims of the present study were, first, to better characterize the MSC derived from the synovial membrane and, second, to compare systematically, in parallel, the MSC-containing cell populations isolated from BM and those derived from the synovium, using quantitative assays. Fluorescent-activated cell sorting analysis revealed that both populations were negative for CD14, CD34 and CD45 expression and that both displayed equal levels of CD44, CD73, CD90 and CD105, a phenotype currently known to be characteristic of BM-MSC. Comparable with BM-MSC, such MSC-like cells isolated from the synovial membrane were shown for the first time to suppress the T-cell response in a mixed lymphocyte reaction, and to express the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase activity to the same extent as BM-MSC, which is a possible mediator of this suppressive activity. Using quantitative RT-PCR these data show that MSC-like cells from the synovium and BM may be induced to chondrogenic differentiation and, to a lesser extent, to osteogenic differentiation, but the osteogenic capacities of the synovium-derived MSC were significantly reduced based on the expression of the markers tested (collagen type II and aggrecan or alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, respectively). Transcription profiles, determined with the Atlas Human Cytokine/Receptor Array, revealed discrimination between the MSC-like cells from the synovial membrane and the BM-MSC by 46 of 268 genes. In particular, activin A was shown to be one major upregulated factor, highly secreted by BM-MSC. Whether this reflects a different cellular phenotype, a different amount of MSC in the synovium-derived population compared with BM-MSC adherent cell populations or the impact of a different microenvironment remains to be determined. In conclusion, although the BM-derived and synovium-derived MSC shared similar phenotypic and functional properties, both their differentiation capacities and transcriptional profiles permit one to discriminate the cell populations according to their tissue origin.
doi:10.1186/ar1827
PMCID: PMC1297577  PMID: 16277684

Results 1-7 (7)