Background: Although multimodality treatment can induce high rate of remission in many subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), significant proportions of patients relapse with incurable disease. The effect of human bone marrow (BM) mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) on tumor cell growth is controversial, and no specific information is available on the effect of BM-MSC on NHL. Methodology/Principal Findings: The effect of BM-MSC was analyzed in two in vivo models of disseminated non-Hodgkin's lymphomas with an indolent (EBV- Burkitt-type BJAB, median survival = 46 days) and an aggressive (EBV+ B lymphoblastoid SKW6.4, median survival = 27 days) behavior in nude-SCID mice. Intra-peritoneal (i.p.) injection of MSC (4 days after i.p. injection of lymphoma cells) significantly increased the overall survival at an optimal MSC:lymphoma ratio of 1:10 in both xenograft models (BJAB+MSC, median survival = 58.5 days; SKW6.4+MSC, median survival = 40 days). Upon MSC injection, i.p. tumor masses developed more slowly and, at the histopathological observation, exhibited a massive stromal infiltration coupled to extensive intra-tumor necrosis. In in vitro experiments, we found that: i) MSC/lymphoma co-cultures modestly affected lymphoma cell survival and were characterized by increased release of pro-angiogenic cytokines with respect to the MSC, or lymphoma, cultures; ii) MSC induce the migration of endothelial cells in transwell assays, but promoted endothelial cell apoptosis in direct MSC/endothelial cell co-cultures. Conclusions/Significance: Our data demonstrate that BM-MSC exhibit anti-lymphoma activity in two distinct xenograft SCID mouse models of disseminated NHL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)