A glimpse into the interactions of cells in a microenvironment: the modulation of T cells by mesenchymal stem cells
Jonghoon Choi,1,2 Mintai P Hwang,3 Jong-Wook Lee,3 Kwan Hyi Lee3,4
1Institute of Research Strategy and Development (IRSD), Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Bionano Engineering, Hanyang University, Ansan, Republic of Korea; 3Center for Biomaterials, Biomedical Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Science and Technology, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Abstract: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been thought to hold potential as a mode of therapy for immuno-related pathologies, particularly for autoimmune diseases. Despite their potential, the interaction between MSCs and T cells, key players in the pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases, is not yet well understood, thereby preventing further clinical progress. A major obstacle is the highly heterogeneous nature of MSCs in vitro. Unfortunately, bulk assays do not provide information with regard to cell–cell contributions that may play a critical role in the overall cellular response. To address these issues, we investigated the interaction between smaller subsets of MSCs and CD4 T cells in a microwell array. We demonstrate that MSCs appear capable of modulating the T cell proliferation rate in response to persistent cell–cell interactions, and we anticipate the use of our microwell array in the classification of subpopulations within MSCs, ultimately leading to specific therapeutic interventions.
Keywords: mesenchymal stem cell, T cell, microwell array
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