Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Investigating the Use of TGF-β2 to Downregulate MHC Expression and Reduce the Immunogenicity of Equine Bone Marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells
by Berglund, Alix Kay, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 2018, 114; 10970022
Abstract (Summary)

Allogeneic bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising cell therapy for effective and efficient treatment of various inflammatory and immunemediated diseases. While the prevailing dogma has been that MSCs are immune privileged, very few studies have controlled for MHC haplotype or adequately measured MSC immunogenicity in vitro or in vivo. Controlled studies have found that major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched MSCs evoke both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in vivo. Microcytotoxicity assays were used to show that horses injected with MHC-mismatched MSCs generate cytotoxic alloantibodies capable of killing MSCs as early as 7-days post-transplantation. Rejection of MSCs likely leads to reduced therapeutic efficacy and the development of strategies to avoid allorecognition and rejection are necessary to provide safe and efficacious allogeneic therapy.

Downregulation of MHC expression allows cells to avoid immune surveillance and may enhance the ability of MSCs to avoid allorecognition and rejection. Transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2) has been shown to downregulate MHC surface expression in various cell types. In agreement with what has been demonstrated in other cell types, TGF-β2 treatment significantly reduced constitutive MHC I and MHC II surface expression and partially blocked IFN-γ-induced MHC expression on equine MSCs. TGF-β2 treatment did not significantly affect the morphology, cell surface markers, viability, or secretion of TGF- β1 and TGF-β2, but did increase the cell yield from cultures. This data indicates that TGF-β2 may reduce MSC immunogenicity without altering the immunomodulatory properties of the cells.

The immunomodulatory capabilities of TGF-β2-treated MSCs were analyzed in modified one-way mixed leukocyte reactions and ELISAs. Naive and TGF-β2-treated MSCs both significantly reduced T cell proliferation as measured by the relative division index and relative CFSE geometric mean fluorescent intensity attenuation. Similar amounts of PGE2 and TGF-β2 were also measured in the supernatant of MLRs with naive and TGF-β2-treated MSCs. This supports that TGF-β2 treatment does not negatively affect the immunomodulatory properties of equine MSCs, which are critical for therapeutic function and evading immune responses in vivo.

In conclusion, although MHC-mismatched equine MSCs are immunogenic in vivo, MHC I and MHC II surface expression can be manipulated by treating cells with TGF-β2 in vitro. Downregulate of MHC surface expression is a promising strategy for enhancing the ability of MSCs to evade immune responses allowing for allogenic use clinically without the risk of immune rejection. The ability of TGF-β2-treated MSCs to avoid immune rejection should continue to be investigated in vitro and in vivo along with the mechanism by which TGF-β2 downregulates MHC expression.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schnabel, Lauren V., Jones, Samuel L.
Commitee: Cheng, Ke, Fisher, Matthew B., Fogle, Jonathan E.
School: North Carolina State University
Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-B 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Veterinary services, Immunology
Keywords: allogeneic, equine, major histocompatibility complex, mesenchymal stem cell, transforming growth factor-beta2
Publication Number: 10970022
ISBN: 9780438284791
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