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Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is the only cure for sickle cell disease (SCD), but engraftment remains challenging in patients lacking matched donors. Infusion of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) at the time of HCT may promote hematopoiesis and ameliorate graft-versus-host disease. Experimental murine models suggest MSC major histocompatibility complex compatibility with recipient impacts their in vivo function, suggesting autologous MSCs could be superior to third-party MSCs for promoting HCT engraftment. Here we tested whether bone marrow (BM)-derived MSCs from SCD subjects have comparable functionality compared with MSCs from healthy volunteers. SCD MSC doubling time and surface marker phenotype did not differ significantly from non-SCD. Third-party and autologous (SCD) T cell proliferation was suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by all MSCs. SCD MSCs comparably expressed indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase, which based on transwell and blocking experiments appeared to be the dominant immunomodulatory pathway. The expression of key genes involved in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-MSC interactions was minimally altered between SCD and non-SCD MSCs. Expression was, however, altered by IFN-γ stimulation, particularly CXCL14, CXCL26, CX3CL1, CKITL, and JAG1, indicating the potential to augment MSC expression by cytokine stimulation. These data demonstrate the feasibility of expanding BM-derived MSCs from SCD patients that phenotypically and functionally do not differ per International Society of Cell Therapy essential criteria from non-SCD MSCs, supporting initial evaluation (primarily for safety) of autologous MSCs to enhance haploidentical HSC engraftment in SCD. Copyright © 2017 The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Elizabeth O Stenger, Raghavan Chinnadurai, Shala Yuan, Marco Garcia, Dalia Arafat, Greg Gibson, Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, Jacques Galipeau. Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Patients with Sickle Cell Disease Display Intact Functionality. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2017 May;23(5):736-745

PMID: 28132869

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