Inflammation Research

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 167–176 | Cite as

Empowering the immune fate of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells: gene and protein changes

  • Mehdi NajarEmail author
  • Yassine Ouhaddi
  • Fatima Bouhtit
  • Rahma Melki
  • Hassan Afif
  • Noureddine Boukhatem
  • Makram Merimi
  • Hassan FahmiEmail author
Original Research Paper


Objective and design

Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) are referred as a promising immunotherapeutic cell product. New approaches using empowered MSCs should be developed as for the treatment or prevention of different immunological diseases. Such preconditioning by new licensing stimuli will empower the immune fate of BM-MSCs and, therefore, promote a better and more efficient biological. Here, our main goal was to establish the immunological profile of BM-MSCs following inflammatory priming and in particular their capacity to adjust their immune-related proteome and transcriptome.

Material and methods

To run this study, we have used BM-MSC cell cultures, a pro-inflammatory cytokine cocktail priming, flow cytometry analysis, qPCR and ELISA techniques.


Different expression levels of several immunological mediators such as COX-1, COX-2, LIF, HGF, Gal-1, HO-1, IL-11, IL-8, IL-6 and TGF-β were constitutively observed in BM-MSCs. Inflammation priming substantially but differentially modulated the gene and protein expression profiles of these mediators. Thus, expressions of COX-2, LIF, HGF, IL-11, IL-8 and IL-6 were highly increased/induced and those of COX-1, Gal-1, and TGF-β were reduced.


Collectively, we demonstrated that BM-MSCs are endowed with a specific and modular regulatory machinery which is potentially involved in immunomodulation. Moreover, BM-MSCs are highly sensitive to inflammation and respond to such signal by properly adjusting their gene and protein expression of regulatory factors. Using such preconditioning may empower the immune fate of MSCs and, therefore, enhance their value for cell-based immunotherapy.


Bone marrow Mesenchymal stromal cells Immunomodulation Regulatory mediators Inflammation priming 



We gratefully acknowledge the support received from the “Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS)”, and its Télévie program. We also thank the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Grant MOP-130293).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehdi Najar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yassine Ouhaddi
    • 1
  • Fatima Bouhtit
    • 2
  • Rahma Melki
    • 2
  • Hassan Afif
    • 1
  • Noureddine Boukhatem
    • 2
  • Makram Merimi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hassan Fahmi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Osteoarthritis Research Unit, University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM), Department of MedicineUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Laboratory of Physiology, Ethnopharmacology and Genetics, Faculty of SciencesUniversity Mohammed PremierOujdaMorocco
  3. 3.Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Jules Bordet InstituteUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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