Multipotent human mesenchymal stromal cells mediate expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells via hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met and STAT3

B. Linju Yen, Men Luh Yen, Pei Ju Hsu, Ko Jiunn Liu, Chia Jen Wang, Chyi Huey Bai, Huey Kang Sytwu

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multilineage progenitors with immunomodulatory properties, including expansion of immunomodulatory leukocytes such as regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs) and tolerogenic dendritic cells. We report that human MSCs can expand CD14-CD11b+CD33 + human myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). MSC-expanded MDSCs suppress allogeneic lymphocyte proliferation, express arginase-1 and inducible nitric oxide synthase, and increase the number of Tregs. This expansion occurs through the secretion of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), with effects replicated by adding HGF singly and abrogated by HGF knockdown in MSCs. In wild-type mice, the liver, which secretes high levels of HGF, contains high numbers of Gr-1+CD11b+ MDSCs, and injection of HGF into mice significantly increases the number of MDSCs. Expansion of MDSCs by MSC-secreted HGF involves c-Met (its receptor) and downstream phosphorylation of STAT3, a key factor in MDSC expansion. Our data further support the strong immunomodulatory nature of MSCs and demonstrate the role of HGF, a mitogenic molecule, in the expansion of MDSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)

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