Recipient's immune system governs stem cell regeneration

November 20, 2011

A new study in Nature Medicine describes how different types of immune system T-cells alternately discourage and encourage stem cells to regrow bone and tissue, bringing into sharp focus the importance of the transplant recipient's immune system in stem cell regeneration.

The study, conducted at the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, examined how mice with genetic bone defects responded to infusions of bone marrow , or BMMSC.

Under normal conditions, the mice's T-cells produced an inflammatory response and triggered the creation of interferon (INF)-gamma and (TNF)-alpha. These attacked and killed the stem cells, preventing the production of new bone.

"Normally, T-cells protect us from infection," said Professor Songtao Shi, corresponding author for the study, "but they can block healthy regeneration from happening."

However, when the mice were given infusions of regulatory T-cells, or Treg, the levels of the interfering INF-gamma and TNF-alpha decreased, increasing the rate of bone growth and defect repair. Furthermore, administering the anti-inflammatory drug aspirin at the site of the bone defect also increased the rate at which the BMMSCs were able to regrow bone.

Postdoctoral Research Associate and lead author Yi Liu said the findings illustrate the previously unrecognized role of T-cells in . They also highlight the need for scientists exploring the possibilities of stem to shift their focus to the immune system, she added.

"Based on what we've found, this should be the direction of more research in the future," Liu said.

More information: Yi Liu, Lei Wang, Takashi Kikuiri, Kentaro Akiyama, Chider Chen, Xingtian Xu, Ruili Yang, WanJun Chen, Songlin Wang, and Songtao Shi. (in press) Mesenchymal stem cell–based tissue regeneration is governed by recipient T lymphocytes via IFN-γ and TNF-α. Nature Medicine doi: 10.1038/nm.2542

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Formaldehyde damages proteins, not just DNA

September 29, 2016

The capacity of formaldehyde, a chemical frequently used in manufactured goods such as automotive parts and wood products, to damage DNA, interfere with cell replication and cause cancer inspired new federal regulations this ...

Synthetic 3D-printed material helps bones regrow

September 28, 2016

A cheap and easy to make synthetic bone material has been shown to stimulate new bone growth when implanted in the spines of rats and a monkey's skull, researchers said Wednesday.

Epigenetic clock predicts life expectancy

September 28, 2016

UCLA geneticist Steve Horvath led a team of 65 scientists in seven countries to record age-related changes to human DNA, calculate biological age and estimate a person's lifespan. A higher biological age—regardless of chronological ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.