Evaluation of immunomodulatory properties of feline mesenchymal stem cells

Maciej Parys, John M Kruger, Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) offer a novel approach to treatment of inflammatory disorders in humans and companion animals. Cats spontaneously develop a wide variety of inflammatory disorders and may potentially benefit from MSC-based therapies. Multiple genes are involved in immunomodulation by MSC and interspecies differences between expressions of these genes exist. The goals of the study were to characterize the expression of genes known to be involved in MSC-based immunomodulation and determine the effect of MSC on proliferation of T-cells in co-culture experiments with PBMC. Unstimulated MSC expressed all immunomodulatory genes studied except for IL-10. Levels of iNOS and FASL were low or undetectable at the RNA level. INFγ stimulation resulted in significant dose dependent upregulation of IDO1, PD-L1, IL-6, COX2 and HGF. Levels of kynurenine were increased after three-day incubation with INFγ. TNFα stimulation increased expression of IL-6 at both RNA and protein level as well as upregulated COX2 gene expression and PTGES1.Stimulation with both INFγ and TNFα resulted in significant increase in PGE2 levels in cell culture medium. MSC significantly decreased proliferation of ConA stimulated PBMC in co-culture experiments at 1:5 ratio. Our results suggest that feline MSC have similar immunomodulatory gene expression and react to inflammatory cytokines in a manner similar to human MSC. Thus, MSC may play an important role in treatment of feline disease as well as serve as an important translational species to evaluate MSC-based therapies of diseases common to both humans and cats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-785
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number10
Early online date28 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2017


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