Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells propagate immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory macrophages in cell-to-cell contact-independent and -dependent manners under hypoxic culture

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Immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory macrophage (Mφ), M2-Mφ that expressed the typical M2-Mφs marker, CD206, and anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-10, is beneficial and expected tool for the cytotherapy against inflammatory diseases. Here, we demonstrated that bone marrow-derived lineage-positive (Lin+) blood cells proliferated and differentiated into M2-Mφs by cooperation with the bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) under hypoxic condition: MSCs not only promoted proliferation of undifferentiated M2-Mφs, pre-M2-Mφs, in the Lin+ fraction via a proliferative effect of the MSCs-secreted macrophage colony-stimulating factor, but also promoted M2-Mφ polarization of the pre-M2-Mφs through cell-to-cell contact with the pre-M2-Mφs. Intriguingly, an inhibitor for intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 receptor/lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1, Rwj50271, partially suppressed expression of CD206 in the Lin+ blood cells but an inhibitor for VCAM-1 receptor/VLA-4, BIO5192, did not, suggesting that the cell-to-cell adhesion through LFA-1 on pre-M2-Mφs and ICAM-1 on MSCs was supposed to promoted the M2-Mφ polarization.

Thus, the co-culture system consisting of bone marrow-derived Lin+ blood cells and MSCs under hypoxic condition was a beneficial supplier of a number of M2-Mφs, which could be clinically applicable to inflammatory diseases.

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