A simple method for identifying bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells with a high immunosuppressive potential

Roberta Rizzo, Giacomo Lanzoni, Marina Stignani, Diana Campioni, Francesco Alviano, Francesca Ricci, Pier Luigi Tazzari, Loredana Melchiorri, Sergio Zaccaria Scalinci, Antonio Cuneo, Laura Bonsi, Francesco Lanza, Gian Paolo Bagnara, Olavio R. Baricordi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background aims. The beneficial activity of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) in allogeneic hematopietic stem cell transplantation requires correct use in terms of cell dose and timing of infusion and the identification of biomarkers for selection. The immunosuppressive bone marrow (BM)-derived MSC (BM-MSC) functions have been associated with the production of soluble HLA-G molecules (sHLA-G) via interleukin (IL)-10. We have established a reliable method for evaluating BM-MSC HLA-G expression without the influence of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Methods. Thirteen BM-MSC from donors were activated with recombinant IL-10 or co-cultured with 10 different phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-treated PBMC (PHA-PBMC). Membrane-bound and sHLA-G expression was evaluated by flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively; lymphoproliferation was measured by (methyl-3H) thymidine. Results. The results demonstrated the ability of IL-10 to stimulate both membrane-bound and sHLA-G production by BM-MSC. The levels of HLA-G expression induced by IL-10 in BM-MSC were associated with the inhibition of PHA-PBMC proliferation (sHLA-G, P = 0.0008, r = 0.9308; membrane HLA-G, P = 0.0005, r = 0.9502). Conclusions. We propose the evaluation of sHLA-G production in IL-10-treated BM-MSC cultures as a possible marker of immunoregulatory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-527
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • graft-versus-host disease
  • HLA-G
  • interleukin-10
  • mesenchymal stromal cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation
  • Cancer Research


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