Background Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells can suppress T-lymphocyte proliferation but promote survival of normal and malignant B cells, thus representing a possible target for new therapeutic schemes. Here we defined the effects of cholesterol synthesis inhibitors on the interaction between these mesenchymal stromal cells and T or B lymphocytes. Design and Methods We exposed mesenchymal stromal cells to inhibitors, such as fluvastatin, of the 3-hydroxy-3- methylglutaryl coenzymeA reductase, responsible for the synthesis of mevalonate, the precursor of cholesterol. Also, these cells were treated with manumycin A, a farnesyl transferase inhibitor which blocks the mevalonate-dependent isoprenylation of small guanosin triphosphate binding proteins. First, mesenchymal stromal cell morphology, cytoskeleton assembly, cell cycle, survival and cytokine production were evaluated. Then, these cells were co-cultured with either T or B lymphocytes and we analyzed: 1) the inhibition of T-cell proliferation to mitogenic stimuli; 2) B-cell survival. Results Fluvastatin altered the assembly of actin microfilaments, inactivated RhoA guanosin triphosphate binding protein, inhibited the S-phase of the cell cycle, induced apoptosis in a small fraction of cells but preserved cytokine production. Preincubation of mesenchymal stromal cells with fluvastatin, or manumycin A, down-regulated the expression of adhesion molecules, reduced cell-to-cell interactions and prevented the inhibition exerted by these stromal cells on CD3/T-cell receptor-induced lymphocyte proliferation. Mevalonic acid could revert morphological, phenotypic and functional effects of fluvastatin. Finally, fluvastatin significantly reduced the mesenchymal stromal cells-mediated rescue of B cells in the presence of dexamethasone, although it did not function in the absence of corticosteroids. Conclusions Fluvastatin-mediated effects on bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells were conceivably due to the inhibition of isoprenylation of small guanosin triphosphate binding proteins, occurring for the lack of mevalonate. Altogether these findings suggest that drugs acting on the mevalonate biosynthetic pathway can regulate mesenchymal stromal cell-induced T-cell suppression and B-lymphocyte survival.
- B-cell survival
- Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells
- T-cell proliferation
ASJC Scopus subject areas