Mesenchymal stem cell inhibition of T-helper 17 cell- differentiation is triggered by cell-cell contact and mediated by prostaglandin E2 via the EP4 receptor

Michelle M. Duffy, Jana Pindjakova, Shirley A. Hanley, Cathal McCarthy, Gudrun A. Weidhofer, Eva M. Sweeney, Karen English, Georgina Shaw, J. Mary Murphy, Frank P. Barry, Bernard P. Mahon, Orina Belton, Rhodri Ceredig, Matthew D. Griffin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

141 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) inhibit T-cell activation and proliferation but their effects on individual T-cell-effector pathways and on memory versus naïve T cells remain unclear. MSC influence on the differentiation of naïve and memory CD4 + T cells toward the Th17 phenotype was examined. CD4 + T cells exposed to Th17-skewing conditions exhibited reduced CD25 and IL-17A expression following MSC co-culture. Inhibition of IL-17A production persisted upon re-stimulation in the absence of MSCs. These effects were attenuated when cell-cell contact was prevented. Th17 cultures from highly purified naïve- and memory-phenotype responders were similarly inhibited. Th17 inhibition by MSCs was reversed by indomethacin and a selective COX-2 inhibitor. Media from MSC/Th17 co-cultures contained increased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels and potently suppressed Th17 differentiation in fresh cultures. MSC-mediated Th17 inhibition was reversed by a selective EP4 antagonist and was mimicked by synthetic PGE2 and a selective EP4 agonist. Activation-induced IL-17A secretion by naturally occurring, effector-memory Th17 cells from a urinary obstruction model was also inhibited by MSC co-culture in a COX-dependent manner. Overall, MSCs potently inhibit Th17 differentiation from naïve and memory T-cell precursors and inhibit naturally-occurring Th17 cells derived from a site of inflammation. Suppression entails cell-contact-dependent COX-2 induction resulting in direct Th17 inhibition by PGE2 via EP4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2840-2851
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Volume41
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Immunosuppression
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Stem cells
  • T helper cells
  • Th17 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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