Mesenchymal stromal cells from infants with simple polydactyly modulate immune responses more efficiently than adult mesenchymal stromal cells
Bone marrow – derived stromal cells or mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs or MSCs, as we will call them in this work) are multipotent progenitor cells that can differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes. In addition, MSCs have been shown to modulate the function of a variety of immune cells. Donor age has been shown to affect the regenerative potential, differentiation, proliferation and anti-inflammatory potency of MSCs; however, the impact of donor age on their immunosuppressive activity is unknown. In this study, we evaluated the ability of MSCs derived from very young children and adults on T-cell suppression and cytokine secretion by monocytes/macrophages. MSCs were obtained from extra digits of children between 10 and 21 months and adults between 28 and 64 years of age. We studied cell surface marker expression, doubling time, lineage differentiation potential and immunosuppressive function of the MSCs. Young MSCs double more quickly and differentiate into bone and fat cells more efficiently than those from older donors. They also form more and dense colonies of fibroblasts (colony forming unit!fibroblast [CFU-F]). MSCs from both young and adult subjects suppressed T-cell proliferation in a mitogen-induced assay at 1:3 and 1:30 ratios. At a 1:30 ratio, however, MSCs from adults did not, but MSCs from infants did suppress T-cell proliferation. In the mixed lymphocyte reaction assay, MSCs from infants produced similar levels of suppression at all three MSC/T-cell ratios, but adult MSCs only inhibited T-cell proliferation at a 1:3 ratio. Cytokine analyses of cocultures of MSCs and macrophages showed that both adult and young MSCs suppress tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and induce interleukin-10 (IL-10) production in macrophage co-culture assay in a similar manner. Overall, this work shows that developing MSCs display a higher level of immunosuppression than mature MSCs.