Background & Aims Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are pluripotent cells that can promote expansion of immune regulatory cells and might be developed for the treatment of immune disorders, including inflammatory bowel diseases. MSCs were reported to reduce colitis in mice; we investigated whether MSC localization to the intestine and production of paracrine factors, including tumor necrosis factor-induced protein 6 (TSG6), were required for these effects. Methods MSCs were isolated from bone marrow (BM-MSCs) of 4- to 6-week-old C57BL/6, C57BL/6-green fluorescent protein, or Balb/c Tsg6-/- male mice. Colitis was induced by ad libitum administration of dextran sulfate sodium for 10 days; after 5 days the mice were given intraperitoneal injections of BM-MSCs or saline (controls). Blood samples and intestinal tissues were collected 24, 48, 96, and 120 hours later; histologic and flow cytometry analyses were performed. Results Injection of BM-MSCs reduced colitis in mice, increasing body weight and reducing markers of intestinal inflammation, compared with control mice. However, fewer than 1% of MSCs reached the inflamed colon. Most of the BM-MSCs formed aggregates in the peritoneal cavity. The aggregates contained macrophages and B and T cells, and produced immune-regulatory molecules including FOXP3, interleukin (IL)10, transforming growth factor-β, arginase type II, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 22 (CCL22), heme oxygenase-1, and TSG6. Serum from mice given BM-MSCs, compared with mice given saline, had increased levels of TSG6. Injection of TSG6 reduced the severity of colitis in mice, along with the numbers of CD45+ cells, neutrophils and metalloproteinase activity in the mucosa, while increasing the percentage of Foxp3CD45+ cells. TSG6 injection also promoted the expansion of regulatory macrophages that expressed IL10 and inducible nitric oxide synthase, and reduced serum levels of interferon-γ, IL6, and tumor necrosis factor. Tsg6-/- MSCs did not suppress the mucosal inflammatory response in mice with colitis. Conclusions BM-MSCs injected into mice with colitis do not localize to the intestine but instead form aggregates in the peritoneum where they produce immunoregulatory molecules, including TSG6, that reduce intestinal inflammation. TSG6 is sufficient to reduce intestinal inflammation in mice with colitis.
- Experimental Models of Colitis
- Immune Regulation
- Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas