After organ transplantation, recipient T cells contribute to graft rejection. Mesenchymal stromal cells from the bone marrow (BM-MSCs) are known to suppress allogeneic T-cell responses, suggesting a possible clinical application of MSCs in organ transplantation. Human liver grafts harbor resident populations of MSCs (L-MSCs). We aimed to determine the immunosuppressive effects of these graft-derived MSCs on allogeneic T-cell responses and to compare these with the effects of BM-MSCs. BM-MSCs were harvested from aspirates and L-MSCs from liver graft perfusates. We cultured them for 21 days and compared their suppressive effects with the effects of BM-MSCs on allogeneic T-cell responses. Proliferation, cytotoxic degranulation, and interferon-gamma production of alloreactive T cells were more potently suppressed by L-MSCs than BM-MSCs. Suppression was mediated by both cell-cell contact and secreted factors. In addition, L-MSCs showed ex vivo a higher expression of PD-L1 than BM-MSCs, which was associated with inhibition of T-cell proliferation and cytotoxic degranulation in vitro. Blocking PD-L1 partly abrogated the inhibition of cytotoxic degranulation by L-MSCs. In addition, blocking indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase partly abrogated the inhibitive effects of L-MSCs, but not BM-MSCs, on T-cell proliferation. In conclusion, liver graft-derived MSC suppression of allogeneic T-cell responses is stronger than BM-MSCs, which may be related to in situ priming and mobilization from the graft. These graft-derived MSCs may therefore be relevant in transplantation by promoting allohyporesponsiveness.,
Stem Cells and Development
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

de Mare-Bredemeijer, E.L.D, Mancham, S, Verstegen, M.M.A, de Ruiter, P.E, van Gent, R, O'Neill, D, … van der Laan, L.J.W. (2015). Human graft-derived mesenchymal stromal cells potently suppress alloreactive T-cell responses. Stem Cells and Development, 24(12), 1436–1447. doi:10.1089/scd.2014.0485