Mechanisms utilized by feline adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells to inhibit T lymphocyte proliferation

Nopmanee Taechangam, Smita Iyer, Naomi J. Walker, Boaz Arzi, Dori L Borjesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Feline adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) have been successfully used in clinical trials for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases with T cell dysregulation. However, the immunomodulatory pathways utilized by feline ASCs to suppress T cell activation have not been fully determined. We investigated the mechanisms used by feline ASCs to inhibit T cell proliferation, including the soluble factors and the cell-cell contact ligands responsible for ASC-T cell interaction. Methods: The immunomodulatory activity of feline ASCs was evaluated via cell cycle analysis and in vitro mixed leukocyte reaction using specific immunomodulatory inhibitors. Cell-cell interactions were assessed with static adhesion assays, also with inhibitors. Results: Feline ASCs decrease T cell proliferation by causing cell cycle arrest in G0-G1. Blocking prostaglandin (PGE2), but not IDO, partially restored lymphocyte proliferation. Although PDL-1 and CD137L are both expressed on activated feline ASCs, only the interaction of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1, CD54) with its ligand, lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1, CD11a/CD18), was responsible for ASC-T cell adhesion. Blocking this interaction reduced cell-cell adhesion and mediator (IFN-γ) secretion and signaling. Conclusions: Feline ASCs utilize PGE2 and ICAM-1/LFA-1 ligand interaction to inhibit T cell proliferation with a resultant cell cycle arrest in G0-G1. These data further elucidate the mechanisms by which feline ASCs interact with T cells, help define appropriate T cell-mediated disease targets in cats that may be amenable to ASC therapy, and may also inform potential translational models for human diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number188
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 25 2019


  • Adipose tissue
  • Feline
  • Immunomodulation, soluble mediators, ligands
  • Mesenchymal stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology


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