Immunologic Research

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 831–840 | Cite as

Immunomodulatory effects of mesenchymal stromal cells-derived exosome

  • Wancheng Chen
  • Yukai Huang
  • Jiaochan Han
  • Lili Yu
  • Yanli Li
  • Ziyuan Lu
  • Hongbo Li
  • Zenghui Liu
  • Chenyan Shi
  • Fengqi Duan
  • Yang Xiao
Original Article


The mechanisms underlying immunomodulatory ability of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) remain unknown. Recently, studies suggested that the immunomodulatory activity of MSCs is largely mediated by paracrine factors. Among which, exosome is considered to play a major role in the communication between MSCs and target tissue. The aim of our study is to investigate the effect of MSCs-derived exosome on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), especially T cells. We find that the MSCs-derived exosome extracted from healthy donors’ bone marrow suppressed the secretion of pro-inflammatory factor TNF-α and IL-1β, but increased the concentration of anti-inflammatory factor TGF-β during in vitro culture. In addition, exosome may induce conversion of T helper type 1 (Th1) into T helper type 2 (Th2) cells and reduced potential of T cells to differentiate into interleukin 17-producing effector T cells (Th17). Moreover, the level of regulatory T cells (Treg) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 were also increased. These results suggested that MSC-derived exosome possesses the immunomodulatory properties. However, it showed no effects on the proliferation of PBMCs or CD3+ T cells, but increases the apoptosis of them. In addition, indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) was previously shown to mediate the immunoregulation of MSCs, which was increased in PBMCs co-cultured with MSCs. In our study, IDO showed no significant changes in PBMCs exposed to MSCs-derived exosome. We conclude that exosome and MSCs might differ in their immune-modulating activities and mechanisms.


Mesenchymal stem cells Exosome Immunomodulation Peripheral blood mononuclear cells 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wancheng Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yukai Huang
    • 1
  • Jiaochan Han
    • 1
  • Lili Yu
    • 1
  • Yanli Li
    • 1
  • Ziyuan Lu
    • 1
  • Hongbo Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zenghui Liu
    • 2
  • Chenyan Shi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fengqi Duan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang Xiao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Southern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of HematologyGeneral Hospital of Guangzhou Military CommandGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of HematologyThe Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University (Academy of Orthopedics-Guangdong Province)GuangzhouChina

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