Human mesenchymal stromal cells can uptake and release ciprofloxacin, acquiring in vitro anti-bacterial activity

Francesca Sisto, Arianna Bonomi, Loredana Cavicchini, Valentina Coccè, Maria Maddalena Scaltrito, Gianpietro Bondiolotti, Giulio Alessandri, Eugenio Parati, Augusto Pessina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background aims: Traditional antibiotic therapy is based on the oral or systemic injection of antibiotics that are often unable to stop a deep infection (eg, osteomyelitis). We studied whether or not bone marrow stromal cells (BM-MSCs) are able to uptake and release ciprofloxacin (CPX), a fluoroquinolone considered the drug of choice for the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis because of its favorable penetration into poorly vascularized sites of infection. Methods: Human bone marrow stromal cells (BM-MSCs) were primed with CPX (BM-MSCsCPX) according to a methodology previously standardized in our laboratory for paclitaxel (PTX). The anti-microbial activity of CPX released from BM-MSCs cells (BM-MSCsCPX-CM) or supernatant from cell lysate (BM-MSCsCPX-LYS) was evaluated by agar dilution and microdilution methods on three bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). To investigate whether or not primed cells (BM-MSCsCPX) were able to directly act on the bacterial growth, co-colture was performed by mixing E.coli suspension to an increasing number of BM-MSCsCPX. The anti-bacterial activity was determined as number of BM-MSCsCPX that completely inhibited bacterial growth. Results: The results demonstrated that BM-MSCsCPX are able to uptake and then release CPX in the conditioned medium. The loaded antibiotic maintains its active form throughout the process as tested on bacteria. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that CPX-loaded MSCs may represent an important device for carrying and delivering CPX (and perhaps other antibiotics) into infected deep microenvironments; they could be used for local application and by systemic infusion when their homing capacity into the bone is cleared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Ciprofloxacin
  • In vitro anti-bacterial activity
  • Mesenchymal stromal cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Transplantation
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Oncology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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