Human Articular Chondrocytes Induce Interleukin-2 Nonresponsiveness to Allogeneic Lymphocytes
We previously showed that articular chondrocytes (ACs) have immune privilege and immunomodulatory functions like those of mesenchymal stem cells. To elucidate these mechanisms, we focused on interleukin-2 (IL-2), which plays critical roles in lymphocyte mitogenic activity. The purpose of this study was to explore whether ACs affect the role of IL-2 underlying immunomodulatory functions.Material and Methods
Irradiated human ACs from osteoarthritis donors were used. Third-party ACs were added to the mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) with or without recombinant human IL-2 (rhIL-2), and the levels of IL-2 and the soluble form of the IL-2 receptor α (sIL-2Rα) protein in supernatant were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Recombinant human IL-2 (rhIL-2) was also added to the MLR. To detect the expression of IL-2 receptor α (CD25) on lymphocytes in the MLR, flow cytometric analysis was performed. Last, ACs and allogeneic activated CD4+ T cell were co-cultured, and the expression of CD25 on activated T cells was examined by flow cytometry.Results
Third-party ACs significantly inhibited the MLR and reduced the level of sIL-2Rα in a dose-dependent manner, but did not affect the concentration of IL-2. Exogenous rhIL-2 accelerated MLR but did not rescue the inhibitory effect of ACs. ACs inhibited the expression of CD25 on activated CD4+ T cells.Discussion
Our results showed that third-party ACs inhibited the proliferation of allogeneic activated lymphocytes, thereby inhibiting production sIL-2Rα, although ACs did not affect IL-2 secretion from lymphocytes. Also, ACs inhibited CD25 expression on activated CD4+ T cells. Thus, ACs inhibited the immune response of allogeneic lymphocytes by inducing IL-2 nonresponsiveness.