Clinically reported reparative benefits of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are majorly attributed to strong immune-modulatory abilities not exactly shared by fibroblasts. However, MSCs remain heterogeneous populations, with unique tissue-specific subsets, and lack of clear-cut assays defining therapeutic stromal subsets adds further ambiguity to the field. In this context, in-depth evaluation of cellular characteristics of MSCs from proximal oro-facial tissues: dental pulp (DPSCs) and periodontal ligament (PDLSCs) from identical donors provides an opportunity to evaluate exclusive niche-specific influences on multipotency and immune-modulation. Exhaustive cell surface profiling of DPSCs and PDLSCs indicated key differences in expression of mesenchymal (CD105) and pluripotent/multipotent stem cell-associated cell surface antigens: SSEA4, CD117, CD123 and CD29. DPSCs and PDLSCs exhibited strong chondrogenic potential, but only DPSCs exhibited adipogenic and osteogenic propensities. PDLSCs expressed immuno-stimulatory/immune-adhesive ligands like HLA-DR and CD50, upon priming with IFNγ, unlike DPSCs, indicating differential response patterns to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Both DPSCs and PDLSCs were hypo-immunogenic and did not elicit robust allogeneic responses despite exposure to IFNγ or TNFα. Interestingly, only DPSCs attenuated mitogen-induced lympho-proliferative responses and priming with either IFNγ or TNFα enhanced immuno-modulation capacity. In contrast, primed or unprimed PDLSCs lacked the ability to suppress polyclonal T cell blast responses. This study indicates that stromal cells from even topographically related tissues do not necessarily share identical MSC properties and emphasizes the need for a thorough functional testing of MSCs from diverse sources with respect to multipotency, immune parameters and response to pro-inflammatory cytokines before translational usage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Cell Biology