Olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells possess immunoregulatory function and suppress autoimmune arthritis
Rui K1,2, Zhang Z2, Tian J2, Lin X3, Wang X3, Ma J2, Tang X1, Xu H2, Lu L3, Wang S1,2
Recent studies have identified olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells (OE-MSCs) as a new type of resident stem cell in the olfactory lamina propria. However, it remains unclear whether OE-MSCs possess any immunoregulatory functions. In this study, we found that mouse OE-MSCs expressed higher transforming growth factor-beta and interleukin-10 levels than bone marrow-derived MSCs. In culture, OE-MSCs exerted their immunosuppressive capacity via directly suppressing effector T-cell proliferation and increasing regulatory T (Treg) cell expansion. In mice with collagen-induced arthritis, adoptive transfer of OE-MSCs markedly suppressed arthritis onset and disease severity, which was accompanied by increased Treg cells and reduced Th1/Th17 cell responses in vivo. Taken together, our findings identified a novel function of OE-MSCs in regulating T-cell responses, indicating that OE-MSCs may represent a new cell therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.