The biologic characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from two distinct tissues, bone marrow and adipose tissue were evaluated in these studies. MSCs derived from human and non-human primate (rhesus monkey) tissue sources were compared. The data indicate that MSCs isolated from rhesus bone marrow (rBMSCs) and human adipose tissue (hASCs) had more similar biologic properties than MSCs of rhesus adipose tissue (rASCs) and human bone marrow MSCs (hBMSCs). Analyses of in vitro growth kinetics revealed shorter doubling time for rBMSCs and hASCs. rBMSCs and hASCs underwent significantly more population doublings than the other MSCs. MSCs from all sources showed a marked decrease in telomerase activity over extended culture; however, they maintained their mean telomere length. All of the MSCs expressed embryonic stem cell markers, Oct-4, Rex-1, and Sox-2 for at least 10 passages. Early populations of MSCs types showed similar multilineage differentiation capability. However, only the rBMSCs and hASCs retain greater differentiation efficiency at higher passages. Overall in vitro characterization of MSCs from these two species and tissue sources revealed a high level of common biologic properties. However, the results demonstrate clear biologic distinctions, as well.
mesenchymal stem cells; bone marrow; adipose tissue; differentiation; telomerase; transcription factors
Biological aging alters the metabolism and volume of adipose tissue depots. Recent evidence suggests that circadian mechanisms play a role in promoting adipogenesis, obesity, and lipodystrophy. The current study compared cohorts of younger (5–9 months) and older (24–28 months) C57BL/6 mice as a function of biological age and circadian time. Advanced age significantly reduced the weight of the brown, epididymal, inguinal, and retroperitoneal adipose depots but not total body weight. The older mice reduced their physical activity by >50% and delayed their activity initiation after light offset. The expressed transcriptome in brown and white adipose depots and liver of both cohorts displayed evidence of circadian rhythmicity; however, the oscillating mRNAs differed significantly between age groups and across tissues. The amplitude of Cry1, a component of the negative arm of the circadian apparatus, and downstream regulators such as Rev-erbα were elevated in the older relative to the younger cohorts as a function of circadian time. Overall, transcript levels differed significantly for 557 (inguinal adipose), 1,016 (liver), and 1,021 (brown adipose) expressed sequences between the cohorts as a function of age. These included transcripts encoding proteins within the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways. Since the Wnt pathway regulates adipose stem cell differentiation and shares a critical enzyme, glycogen synthase kinase 3β, with the circadian mechanism, the intersection between these two fundamental regulatory mechanisms merits further investigation with respect to biological aging of adipose tissues.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-012-9389-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Brown adipose; Circadian; Liver; Oscillation; Transcriptomics; White adipose
Adipose tissue is a rich and very convenient source of cells for regenerative medicine therapeutic approaches. However, a characterization of the population of adipose-derived stromal and stem cells (ASCs) with the greatest therapeutic potential remains unclear. Under the authority of International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and International Society for Cellular Therapy, this paper sets out to establish minimal definitions of stromal cells both as uncultured stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and as an adherent stromal/stem cells population.
Phenotypic and functional criteria for the identification of adipose-derived cells were drawn from the literature.
In the SVF, cells are identified phenotypically by the following markers: CD45-CD235a-CD31-CD34+. Added value may be provided by both a viability marker and the following surface antigens: CD13, CD73, CD90 and CD105. The fibroblastoid colony-forming unit assay permits the evaluation of progenitor frequency in the SVF population. In culture, ASCs retain markers in common with other mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs), including CD90, CD73, CD105, and CD44 and remain negative for CD45 and CD31. They can be distinguished from bone-marrow-derived MSCs by their positivity for CD36 and negativity for CD106. The CFU-F assay is recommended to calculate population doublings capacity of ASCs. The adipocytic, chondroblastic and osteoblastic differentiation assays serve to complete the cell identification and potency assessment in conjunction with a quantitative evaluation of the differentiation either biochemically or by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.
The goal of this paper is to provide initial guidance for the scientific community working with adipose-derived cells and to facilitate development of international standards based on reproducible parameters.
adipose-derived stromal/stem cells; adipose tissue; characterization; function; phenotype; stromal vascular fraction
Embryonic development of articular cartilage has not been well understood and the role of doublecortin (DCX) in determination of chondrocyte phenotype is unknown. Here, we use a DCX promoter-driven eGFP reporter mouse model to study the dynamic gene expression profiles in mouse embryonic handplates at E12.5 to E13.5 when the condensed mesenchymal cells differentiate into either endochondral chondrocytes or joint interzone cells. Illumina microarray analysis identified a variety of genes that were expressed differentially in the different regions of mouse handplate. The unique expression patterns of many genes were revealed. Cytl1 and 3110032G18RIK were highly expressed in the proximal region of E12.5 handplate and the carpal region of E13.5 handplate, whereas Olfr538, Kctd15, and Cited1 were highly expressed in the distal region of E12.5 and the metacarpal region of E13.5 handplates. There was an increasing gradient of Hrc expression in the proximal to distal direction in E13.5 handplate. Furthermore, when human DCX protein was expressed in human adipose stem cells, collagen II was decreased while aggrecan, matrilin 2, and GDF5 were increased during the 14-day pellet culture. These findings suggest that DCX may play a role in defining chondrocyte phenotype.
articular cartilage; chondrocytes; doublecortin; DCX
Multiple sclerosis (MS), characterized by chronic inflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage, is a complicated neurological disease of the human central nervous system. Recent interest in adipose stromal/stem cell (ASCs) for the treatment of CNS diseases has promoted further investigation in order to identify the most suitable ASCs. To investigate whether MS affects the biologic properties of ASCs and whether autologous ASCs from MS-affected sources could serve as an effective source for stem cell therapy, cells were isolated from subcutaneous inguinal fat pads of mice with established experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a murine model of MS. ASCs from EAE mice and their syngeneic wild-type mice were cultured, expanded, and characterized for their cell morphology, surface antigen expression, osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, colony forming units, and inflammatory cytokine and chemokine levels in vitro. Furthermore, the therapeutic efficacy of the cells was assessed in vivo by transplantation into EAE mice. The results indicated that the ASCs from EAE mice displayed a normal phenotype, typical MSC surface antigen expression, and in vitro osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation capacity, while their osteogenic differentiation capacity was reduced in comparison with their unafflicted control mice. The ASCs from EAE mice also demonstrated increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, specifically an elevation in the expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and keratin chemoattractant. In vivo, infusion of wild type ASCs significantly ameliorate the disease course, autoimmune mediated demyelination and cell infiltration through the regulation of the inflammatory responses, however, mice treated with autologous ASCs showed no therapeutic improvement on the disease progression.
While administration of ex vivo culture-expanded stem cells has been used to study immunosuppressive mechanisms in multiple models of autoimmune diseases, less is known about the uncultured, nonexpanded stromal vascular fraction (SVF)-based therapy. The SVF is composed of a heterogeneous population of cells and has been used clinically to treat acute and chronic diseases, alleviating symptoms in a range of tissues and organs.
In this study, the ability of human SVF cells was compared with culture-expanded adipose stem cells (ASCs) and bone-derived marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) as a treatment of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (35–55)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalitis in C57Bl/6J mice, a well-studied multiple sclerosis model (MS). A total of 1 × 106 BMSCs, ASCs, or SVF cells were administered intraperitoneally concomitantly with the induction of disease. Mice were monitored daily for clinical signs of disease by three independent, blinded investigators and rated on a scale of 0 to 5. Spinal cords were obtained after euthanasia at day 30 and processed for histological staining using luxol fast blue, toluidine blue, and hematoxylin and eosin to measure myelin and infiltrating immune cells. Blood was collected from mice at day 30 and analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure serum levels of inflammatory cytokines.
The data indicate that intraperitoneal administration of all cell types significantly ameliorates the severity of disease. Furthermore, the data also demonstrate, for the first time, that the SVF was as effective as the more commonly cultured BMSCs and ASCs in an MS model. All cell therapies also demonstrated a similar reduction in tissue damage, inflammatory infiltrates, and sera levels of IFNγ and IL-12. While IFNγ levels were reduced to comparable levels between treatment groups, levels of IL-12 were significantly lower in SVF-treated than BMSC-treated or ASC-treated mice.
Based on these data, it is evident that SVF cells have relevant therapeutic potential in an animal model of chronic MS and might represent a valuable tool for stem cell-based therapy in chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. SVF offers advantages of direct and rapid isolation procedure in a xenobiotic-free environment.
Globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe’s disease) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder that results from the deficiency of galactosylceramidase, a lysosomal enzyme involved in active myelination. Due to the progressive, lethal nature of this disease and the limited treatment options available, multiple laboratories are currently exploring novel therapies using the mouse model of globoid cell leukodystrophy. In order to establish a protocol for motor function assessment of the twitcher mouse, this study tested the capability of an automated system to detect phenotypic differences across mouse genotypes and/or treatment groups. The sensitivity of this system as a screening tool for the assessment of therapeutic interventions was determined by the administration of murine bone marrow-derived stem cells into twitcher mice via intraperitoneal injection. Animal behavior was analyzed using the Noldus EthoVision XT7 software. Novel biomarkers, including abnormal locomotion (e.g., velocity, moving duration, distance traveled, turn angle) and observed behaviors (e.g., rearing activity, number of defecation boli), were established for the twitcher mouse. These parameters were monitored across all mouse groups, and the automated system detected improved locomotion in the treated twitcher mice based on the correction of angular velocity, turn angle, moving duration, and exploratory behavior, such as thigmotaxis. Further supporting these findings, the treated mice showed improved lifespan, gait, wire hang ability, twitching severity and frequency, and sciatic nerve histopathology. Taken together, these data demonstrate the utility of computer-based neurophenotyping for motor function assessment of twitcher mice and support its utility for detecting the efficacy of stem cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative disorders.
Globoid cell leukodystrophy; Noldus Technology; EthoVision XT7; behavioral phenotype; twitcher mouse; mesenchymal stem/stromal cells
Currently, patients with end-stage lung disease are limited to lung transplantation as their only treatment option. Unfortunately, the lungs available for transplantation are few. Moreover, transplant recipients require life-long immune suppression to tolerate the transplanted lung. A promising alternative therapeutic strategy is decellularization of whole lungs, which permits the isolation of an intact scaffold comprised of innate extracellular matrix (ECM) that can theoretically be recellularized with autologous stem or progenitor cells to yield a functional lung. Nonhuman primates (NHP) provide a highly relevant preclinical model with which to assess the feasibility of recellularized lung scaffolds for human lung transplantation. Our laboratory has successfully accomplished lung decellularization and initial stem cell inoculation of the resulting ECM scaffold in an NHP model. Decellularization of normal adult rhesus macaque lungs as well as the biology of the resulting acellular matrix have been extensively characterized. Acellular NHP matrices retained the anatomical and ultrastructural properties of native lungs with minimal effect on the content, organization, and appearance of ECM components, including collagen types I and IV, laminin, fibronectin, and sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAG), due to decellularization. Proteomics analysis showed enrichment of ECM proteins in total tissue extracts due to the removal of cells and cellular proteins by decellularization. Cellular DNA was effectively removed after decellularization (∼92% reduction), and the remaining nuclear material was found to be highly disorganized, very-low-molecular-weight fragments. Both bone marrow- and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) attach to the decellularized lung matrix and can be maintained within this environment in vitro, suggesting that these cells may be promising candidates and useful tools for lung regeneration. Analysis of decellularized lung slice cultures to which MSC were seeded showed that the cells attached to the decellularized matrix, elongated, and proliferated in culture. Future investigations will focus on optimizing the recellularization of NHP lung scaffolds toward the goal of regenerating pulmonary tissue. Bringing this technology to eventual human clinical application will provide patients with an alternative therapeutic strategy as well as significantly reduce the demand for transplantable organs and patient wait-list time.
Obesity has been associated with increased incidence and mortality of breast cancer. While the precise correlation between obesity and breast cancer remains to be determined, recent studies suggest that adipose tissue and adipose stem cells (ASCs) influence breast cancer tumorigenesis and tumor progression.
Breast cancer cells lines were co-cultured with ASCs (n = 24), categorized based on tissue site of origin and body mass index (BMI), and assessed for enhanced proliferation, alterations in gene expression profile with PCR arrays, and enhanced tumorigenesis in immunocompromised mice. The gene expression profile of ASCs was assess with PCR arrays and qRT-PCR and confirmed with Western blot analysis. Inhibitory studies were conducted by delivering estrogen antagonist ICI182,780, leptin neutralizing antibody, or aromatase inhibitor letrozole and assessing breast cancer cell proliferation. To assess the role of leptin in human breast cancers, Oncomine and Kaplan Meier plot analyses were conducted.
ASCs derived from the abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese subjects (BMI > 30) enhanced breast cancer cell proliferation in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. These findings were correlated with changes in the gene expression profile of breast cancer cells after co-culturing with ASCs, particularly in estrogen receptor-alpha (ESR1) and progesterone receptor (PGR) expression. Analysis of the gene expression profile of the four groups of ASCs revealed obesity induced alterations in several key genes, including leptin (LEP). Blocking estrogen signaling with ICI182,780, leptin neutralizing antibody, or letrozole diminished the impact of ASCs derived from obese subjects. Women diagnosed with estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) breast cancers that also expressed high levels of leptin had poorer prognosis than women with low leptin expression.
ASCs isolated from the abdomen of obese subjects demonstrated increased expression of leptin, through estrogen stimulation, which increased breast cancer cell proliferation. The results from this study demonstrate that abdominal obesity induces significant changes in the biological properties of ASCs and that these alterations enhance ER+/PR+ breast cancer tumorigenesis through estrogen dependent pathways.
To evaluate differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) to the keratocyte lineage by co-culture with primary keratocytes in vitro.
Materials and Methods
A co-culture system using transwell inserts to grow hASCs on bottom and keratocytes on top in keratocyte differentiating medium (KDM) was developed. hASCs that were cultured in complete culture medium (CCM) and KDM were used as control. After 16 days, hASCs were examined for morphologic changes and proliferation by cell count. qRT-PCR and flow cytometry were used to detect the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 3 family, member A1 (ALDH3A1) and keratocan.
hASCs became more dendritic and elongated in co-culture system relative to CCM and KDM. The doubling time of the cells was longer as differentiation progressed. qRT-PCR showed a definite trend towards increased expression of both ALDH3A1 and keratocan in co-culture system despite statistically non-significant p-values. Flow cytometry showed significantly increased protein levels of ALDH3A1 and keratocan in co-culture system relative to CCM group (p < 0.001) and even relative to KDM group (p < 0.001 for ALDH3A1 and p < 0.01 for keratocan).
The co-culture method is a promising approach to induce differentiation of stem cell populations prior to in vivo applications. This study reveals an important potential for bioengineering of corneal tissue using autologous multi-potential stem cells.
Human adipose-derived stem cells; Co-culture system; Keratocyte; Bioengineered cornea
Until recently, the complexity of adipose tissue and its physiological role was not well appreciated. This changed with the discovery of adipokines such as leptin. The cellular composition of adipose tissue is heterogeneous and changes as a function of diabetes and disease states such as diabetes. Tissue engineers view adipose tissue as a rich source of adult stromal/stem cells isolated by collagenase digestion. In vitro and in vivo studies have documented that adipose stromal/stem cells are multipotent, with the ability to differentiate along the adipocyte, chondrocyte, osteoblast and other lineage pathways. The adipose stromal/stem cells secrete a wide range of cytokines and growth factors with potential paracrine actions. Furthermore, adipose stromal/stem cells exert immunomodulatory functions when added to mixed lymphocyte reactions, suggesting that they can be transplanted allogeneically. This review article focuses on these mechanisms of adipose stromal/stem cell action and their potential utility as cellular therapeutics.
Adipokine, Adipose Stromal/stem Cells; Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis; Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell; Mesenchymal Stem Cell or Multipotent Stromal Cell; Progressive Osseous Heteroplasia
The emerging field of regenerative medicine will require a reliable source of stem cells in addition to biomaterial scaffolds and cytokine growth factors. Adipose tissue has proven to serve as an abundant, accessible and rich source of adult stem cells with multipotent properties suitable for tissue engineering and regenerative medical applications. There has been increased interest in Adipose-derived Stem Cells (ASCs) for tissue engineering applications. Here, methods for the isolation, expansion and differentiation of ASCs are presented and described in detail. While this article has focused on the isolation of ASCs from human adipose tissue, the procedure can be applied to adipose tissues from other species with minimal modifications.
Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs); Biopsy; Differentiation; Expansion; Isolation; Lipoaspirate; Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
Krabbe disease, also known as globoid cell leukodystrophy, is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease caused by the genetic deficiency of galactocerebrosidase (GALC), a lysosomal enzyme responsible for the degradation of several glycosphingolipids like psychosine and galactosylceramide. In order to investigate whether GALC deficiency in Krabbe disease affects adipose-derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) properties and if the ASCs could be used as a source of autologous stem cell therapy for patients with Krabbe disease, ASCs isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue of Twitcher mice (a murine model of Krabbe disease) and their normal wild type littermates were cultured, expanded, and characterized for their cell morphology, surface antigen expression, osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, colony forming units, growth kinetics, and immune regulatory capacities in vitro.
ASCs from Twitcher mice (TwiASCs), when compared to ASCs from normal mice (WtASCs), have a reduced osteogenic differentiation potential, have less self-replicating and proliferative capacity, although they have the same fibroblast morphologies and cell sizes. However, surprisingly, the TwiASCs demonstrated similar immune-suppressive capacities as their counterparts WtASCs did when they were transwell co-cultured with macrophages in vitro.
This study reveals that Twitcher ASCs exhibit differences in the biologic potential when compared to their counterparts from normal mice. The changes in Twitcher ASCs may be influenced by the GALC deficiency in Twitcher mice. Nevertheless, none of the changes preclude the use of the TwiASCs for autologous applications.
Adipose stem cells; ASCs; Krabbe disease; Twitcher mice; Autologous transplantation
Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) have emerged as important regulators of inflammatory/immune responses in vitro and in vivo and represent attractive candidates for cell-based therapies for diseases that involve excessive inflammation. Acute lung injury (ALI) is an inflammatory condition for which treatment is mainly supportive due to lack of effective therapies. In this study, the therapeutic effects of ASC-based therapy were assessed in vivo by comparison of the anti-inflammatory properties of both human and murine ASCs in a mouse model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI.
Human ASCs (hASCs) or mouse ASCs (mASCs) were delivered to C57Bl/6 mice (7.5 × 105 total cells/mouse) by oropharyngeal aspiration (OA) four hours after the animals were challenged with lipopolysaccharide (15 mg/kg). Mice were sacrificed 24 and 72 hours after LPS exposure, and lung histology examined for evaluation of inflammation and injury. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was analyzed to determine total and differential cell counts, total protein and albumin concentrations, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Cytokine expression in the injured lungs was measured at the steady-state mRNA levels and protein levels for assessment of the degree of lung inflammation.
Both human and mouse ASC treatments provided protective anti-inflammatory responses. There were decreased levels of leukocyte (for example neutrophil) migration into the alveoli, total protein and albumin concentrations in BALF, and MPO activity after the induction of ALI following both therapies. Additionally, cell therapy with both cell types effectively suppressed the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and increased the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10). Overall, the syngeneic mASC therapy had a more potent therapeutic effect than the xenogeneic hASC therapy in this model.
Treatment with hASCs or mASCs significantly attenuated LPS-induced acute lung injury in mice. These results suggest a potential benefit for using an ASC-based therapy to treat clinical ALI and may possibly prevent the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
The pace of discovery involving adipose-derived cells continues to accelerate at both the preclinical and clinical translational levels. Adipose tissue is a source of freshly isolated, heterogeneous stromal vascular fraction cells and culture-expanded, adherent and relatively homogeneous adipose stromal/stem cells. Both populations display regenerative capacity in soft and hard tissue repair, ischemic insults and autoimmune diseases. While their major mechanism of action has been attributed to both direct lineage differentiation and/or paracrine factor release, current evidence favors a paracrine mechanism. Over 40 clinical trials using adipose-derived cells conducted in 15 countries have been registered with the NIH, the majority of which are Phase I or Phase I/II safety studies. This review focuses on the literature of the past 2 years in order to assess the status of clinical and preclinical studies on adipose-derived cell therapies for regenerative medicine.
adipose; adipose stromal/stem cell; autoimmune; bone repair; clinical translation; cosmetic surgery; ischemic injury; myocardial infarction; stromal vascular fraction
One of a family of devastating lysosomal storage disorders, Krabbe disease is characterized by demyelination, psychosine accumulation, and inflammation. Affected infants rarely survive longer than two years. Using the twitcher mouse model of the disease, this study evaluated the potential of intrastriatal injection of adipose or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) as a treatment option. Neonatal pups were injected with MSCs at 3–4 days of age and subjected to a battery of behavioral tests beginning at 15 days. While MSC injection failed to increase lifespan of twitchers, improvements in rotarod performance and twitching severity were observed at 27–38 days of age using MSCs derived from bone marrow. This study tested several different tasks developed in adult mice for evaluation of disease progression in immature twitchers. Rotarod was both reliable and extremely sensitive. Automated gait analysis using the Treadscan program was also useful for early evaluation of differences prior to overt gait dysfunction. Finally, this study represents the first use of the Stone T-maze in immature mice. Validation of rotarod and automated gait analysis for detection of subtle differences in disease progression is important for early stage efforts to develop treatments for juvenile disorders.
Krabbe disease; twitcher mice; mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; adipose-derived stem/stromal cells; gait analysis; motor function
To facilitate the study of the chemical pathology of galactosylsphingosine (psychosine, GalSph) in Krabbe disease and glucosylsphingosine (GlcSph) in Gaucher disease, we have devised a facile method for the effective separation of these two glycosylsphingosines from other glycosphingolipids (GSLs) in Krabbe brain and Gaucher spleen samples. The procedure involves the use of acetone to selectively extract GalSph and GlcSph, respectively, from Krabbe brain and Gaucher spleen samples. Since acetone does not extract other GSLs except modest amounts of galactosylceramide, sulfatide, and glucosylceramide, the positively charged GalSph or GlcSph in the acetone extract can be readily separated from other GSLs by batchwise cation-exchange chromatography using a Waters Accell Plus CM Cartridge. GalSph or GlcSph enriched by this simple procedure can be readily analyzed by thin-layer chromatography or high-performance liquid chromatography.
Galactosylsphingosine; Psychosine; Glucosylsphingosine; Krabbe disease; Gaucher disease
stem cells; bone marrow; adipose tissue; Krabbe’s Disease; globoid cell leukodystrophy; twitcher mouse; therapy
Adipose stem cells have a strong potential for use in cell-based therapy, but the current nucleofection technique, which relies on unknown buffers, prevents their use.
We developed an optimal nucleofection formulation for human adipose stem cells by using a three-step method that we had developed previously. This method was designed to determine the optimal formulation for nucleofection that was capable of meeting or surpassing the established commercial buffer (Amaxa), in particular for murine adipose stem cells. By using this same buffer, we determined that the same formulation yields optimal transfection efficiency in human mesenchymal stem cells.
Our findings suggest that transfection efficiency in human stem cells can be boosted with proper formulation.
Electroporation; Formulation; Stem cells; Transfection; Cell therapy
Vaccines are the most efficient and cost-effective means of preventing infectious disease. However, traditional vaccine approaches have thus far failed to provide protection against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, malaria, and many other diseases. New approaches to vaccine development are needed to address some of these intractable problems. In this report, we review the literature identifying stimulatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) on immune responses and explore the potential for MSC as a novel, universal vaccination platform. MSC are unique bone marrow-derived multipotent progenitor cells that are presently being exploited as gene therapy vectors for a variety of conditions, including cancer and autoimmune diseases. Although MSC are predominantly known for anti-inflammatory properties during allogeneic MSC transplant, there is evidence that MSC can actually promote adaptive immunity under certain settings. MSC have also demonstrated some success in anti-cancer therapeutic vaccines and anti-microbial prophylactic vaccines, as we report, for the first time, the ability of modified MSC to express and secrete a viral antigen that stimulates antigen-specific antibody production in vivo. We hypothesize that the unique properties of modified MSC may enable MSC to serve as an unconventional but innovative, vaccine platform. Such a platform would be capable of expressing hundreds of proteins, thereby generating a broad array of epitopes with correct post-translational processing, mimicking natural infection. By stimulating immunity to a combination of epitopes, it may be possible to develop prophylactic and even therapeutic vaccines to tackle major health problems including those of non-microbial and microbial origin, including cancer, or an infectious disease like HIV, where traditional vaccination approaches have failed.
MSC; vaccination; adaptive immunity; antibodies; antigen delivery
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play a central role in mediating endogenous repair of cell and tissue damage. Biologic aging is a universal process that results in changes at the cellular and molecular levels. In the present study, the role of microRNA (miRNA) in age-induced molecular changes in MSCs derived from adipose tissue (ASCs) and bone marrow (BMSCs) from young and old human donors were investigated by using an unbiased genome-wide approach.
Human ASCs and BMSCs from young and old donors were cultured, and total RNA was isolated. The miRNA fraction was enriched and used to determine the expression profile of miRNA in young and old donor MSCs. Based on miRNA expression, differences in donor MSCs were further investigated by using differentiation assays, Western blot, immunocytochemistry, and bioinformatics.
Biologic aging demonstrated reduced osteogenic and adipogenic potential in ASCs isolated from older donors, whereas cell size, complexity, and cell-surface markers remained intact with aging. Analysis of miRNA profiles revealed that small subsets of active miRNAs changed secondary to aging. Evaluation of miRNA showed significantly decreased levels of gene expression of inhibitory kappa B kinase (IκB), interleukin-1α, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), mitogen-activated protein kinase/p38, ERK1/2, c-fos, and c-jun in MSCs from older donors by both bioinformatics and Western blot analysis. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), myc, and interleukin-4 receptor mRNA levels were significantly elevated in aged cells from both the adipose and bone marrow depots. Immunocytochemistry showed nuclear localization in young donors, but a cytosolic predominance of phosphorylated NF-κB in ASCs from older donors. Western blot demonstrated significantly elevated levels of NF-κB subunits, p65 and p50, and AKT.
These findings suggest that differential expression of miRNA is an integral component of biologic aging in MSCs.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the nonhematopoietic multipotent progenitor cells found in various adult tissues. They are characterized by their ease of isolation and their rapid growth in vitro while maintaining their differentiation potential, allowing for extensive expansion in culture that yields large quantities suitable for therapeutic use. This article reviews the immunomodulatory activities associated with MSCs. Numerous studies have demonstrated that MSCs are potently immunosuppressive in vitro and in vivo. However, this article presents a new paradigm in MSC biology, in which MSCs, at least in vitro, can undergo polarization into either a pro-inflammatory or an immunosuppressive phenotype.
Adipose tissue is now recognized as an accessible, abundant, and reliable site for the isolation of adult stem cells suitable for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. The past decade has witnessed an explosion of preclinical data relating to the isolation, characterization, cryopreservation, differentiation, and transplantation of freshly isolated stromal vascular fraction cells and adherent, culture-expanded, adipose-derived stromal/stem cells in vitro and in animal models. This body of work has provided evidence supporting clinical translational applications of adipose-derived cells in safety and efficacy trials. The present article reviews the case reports and phase I-III clinical evidence using autologous adipose-derived cells that have been published, to date, in the fields of gastroenterology, neurology, orthopedics, reconstructive surgery, and related clinical disciplines. Future directions and challenges facing the field are discussed and evaluated.
Multipotent stromal cells (MSCs) are currently in clinical trials for a number of inflammatory diseases. Recent studies have demonstrated the ability of MSCs to attenuate inflammation in rodent models of acute lung injury (ALI) suggesting that MSCs may also be beneficial in treating ALI.
To better understand how human MSCs (hMSCs) may act in ALI, the lungs of immunocompetent mice were exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and four hours later bone marrow derived hMSCs were delivered by oropharyngeal aspiration (OA). The effect of hMSCs on lung injury was assessed by measuring the lung wet/dry weight ratio and total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid 24 or 48 h after LPS. BAL fluid was also analyzed for the presence of inflammatory cells and cytokine expression by multiplex immunoassay. Microarray analysis of total RNA isolated from treated and untreated lungs was performed to elucidate the mechanism(s) involved in hMSC modulation of lung inflammation.
Administration of hMSCs significantly reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, neutrophil counts and total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage. There was a concomitant reduction in pulmonary edema. The anti-inflammatory effects of hMSCs were not dependent on localization to the lung, as intraperitoneal administration of hMSCs also attenuated LPS-induced inflammation in the lung. Microarray analysis revealed significant induction of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-induced protein 6 (TNFAIP6/TSG-6) expression by hMSCs 12 h after OA delivery to LPS-exposed lungs. Knockdown of TSG-6 expression in hMSCs by RNA interference abrogated most of their anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, intra-pulmonary delivery of recombinant human TSG-6 reduced LPS-induced inflammation in the lung.
These results show that hMSCs recapitulate the observed beneficial effects of rodent MSCs in animal models of ALI and suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of hMSCs in the lung are explained, at least in part, by activation of hMSCs to secrete TSG-6.
HIV-1 entry requires the cell surface expression of CD4 and either the CCR5 or CXCR4 coreceptors on host cells. Individuals homozygous for the ccr5Δ32 polymorphism do not express CCR5 and are protected from infection by CCR5-tropic (R5) virus strains. As an approach to inactivating CCR5, we introduced CCR5-specific zinc-finger nucleases into human CD4+ T cells prior to adoptive transfer, but the need to protect cells from virus strains that use CXCR4 (X4) in place of or in addition to CCR5 (R5X4) remains. Here we describe engineering a pair of zinc finger nucleases that, when introduced into human T cells, efficiently disrupt cxcr4 by cleavage and error-prone non-homologous DNA end-joining. The resulting cells proliferated normally and were resistant to infection by X4-tropic HIV-1 strains. CXCR4 could also be inactivated in ccr5Δ32 CD4+ T cells, and we show that such cells were resistant to all strains of HIV-1 tested. Loss of CXCR4 also provided protection from X4 HIV-1 in a humanized mouse model, though this protection was lost over time due to the emergence of R5-tropic viral mutants. These data suggest that CXCR4-specific ZFNs may prove useful in establishing resistance to CXCR4-tropic HIV for autologous transplant in HIV-infected individuals.
For HIV to enter T cells, the virus first binds to a primary surface receptor CD4 and then to a coreceptor, either CCR5 or CXCR4. Previously we engineered zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) to specifically disrupt the CCR5 gene in primary human T cells, the predominant cell type infected and killed by HIV. This makes the cell permanently resistant to CCR5-tropic HIV; however, viruses that can utilize CXCR4 can still infect cells. ZFNs function as molecular scissors that cut a specific region of DNA. Then, the cell's own machinery repairs this cut, often introducing mutations that result in a non-functional protein. Currently, a clinical trial is underway in which HIV-infected individuals' own cells are removed from their blood, treated with the CCR5-ZFNs, and then infused back. Here, we report the use of novel zinc-finger nucleases that specifically and permanently disrupt the CXCR4 gene in T cells. This treatment results in resistance to CXCR4-tropic HIV. In addition, we combine CXCR4 and CCR5 genetic disruption to make cells resistant to all strains of HIV. Our long-term goal is to engineer HIV-resistant CD4+ T cells in infected individuals that can be reinfused and hopefully enable them to control infection in the absence of anti-viral drugs.