The influence of equine bone marrow derived stem cells on the response of cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells to endotoxin
MacDonald, Elizabeth Steward
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Endotoxemia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in horses. The presence of large amounts of circulating endotoxin inititates a number of cell signaling pathways leading to a systemic inflammatory response. Activation of these pathways causes the release of a number of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators. An overwhelming release of these mediators leads to the development of clinical signs associated with endotoxemia. Treatment options are limited mostly to supportive care at this time. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to have anti-inflamamtory and immune modulatory effects that may have some benefit for the treatment of horses with endotoxemia. To evaluate the effect of equine MSCs on the response to endotoxin challenge, the study was performed on two different stem cell lines with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) used as controls. After stimulation with endotoxin, secretion of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) were determined by ELISA. The immunogenic properties of MSCs were assessed with a one-way mixed lymphocyte reaction. In addition, the ability of MSCs to alter production of cytokines from stimulated PBMCs was assessed. TNF-α was not produced by MSCs when compared to PBMCs (p = < 0.001). There was no significant difference between MSCs and PBMCs in the production of IL-6. IL-10 production was significantly different (p = <0.001) at 6 and 12 hours with MSCs producing more than PBMCs in one stem cell line only. MSCs did not stimulate proliferation of PBMCs. Co-incubation of MSCs with PBMCs decreased the production of TNF-α in both stem cell lines although it was not statistically significant (p = 0.4 and 0.9) at either time point. IL-6 secretion was suppressed at twelve hours with co-incubation. IL-10 production was increased with co-incubation in one stem cell line. MSCs secrete soluble factors that can alter PBMC cytokine production and they do not appear to be immunostimulatory. These findings have potential implication for treatment of equine inflammatory conditions.
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