Human Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells express several immunomodulatory molecules both in their naïve state and hepatocyte-like differentiated progeny: prospects for their use in liver diseases.

Felicia Farina, Melania Lo Iacono, Giampiero La Rocca, Giovanni Zummo, Rita Anzalone, Francesca Magno, Simona Corrao, Tiziana Loria

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

Wharton’s jelly (WJ), the main constituent of umbilical cord, is a reliable source ofmesenchymal stem cells (MSC). WJ-MSC show unique ability in crossing lineageborders. As other extraembryonic mesenchymal populations (placenta and amnionderivedcells), WJ-MSC express several immunomodulatory molecules, essential duringthe initial phases of human development. Indeed, our recent work pointed out theexpression of non-classical HLA molecules as HLA-G in such cells, together with afavorable combination of B7 costimulators. Very few data in literature suggest that someof the immune features of the naïve cells are maintained after performing differentiation.The aim of this work was extending the knowledge on the expression ofimmunomodulatory molecules by naïve and differentiated WJ-MSC. To this purpose, WJMSCunderwent differentiation to osteoblasts, adipocytes and hepatocyte-like cells.Differentiated cells were characterized, by both RT-PCR, ICC and histological stains forthe acquisistion of the desired phenotypical features. RT-PCR and ICC were used toinvestigate the differential expression of immune-related molecules in control anddifferentiated cells.WJ-MSC resulted expressing diverse immunomodulatory molecules which spans fromnon-classical type I HLAs (i.e. HLA-E, -F, -G) , to further members of the B7 family, andof the CEA superfamily, for all of which in vivo immunomodulating functions are known.In addition, we demonstrated for the first time that the expression of these molecules ismaintained after performing osteogenic, adipogenic or hepatogenic differentiation.Further experiments are undergoing to better evaluating the implications of these findingsin the evolving field of liver regenerative medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages82-82
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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