Human gingival tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs) present an accessible source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for treating autoimmune diseases. Here we show that human GMSCs can prevent and treat acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in two different mouse models. Our results indicate that besides exhibiting suppressive function in vitro and in vivo, GMSCs may also regulate the conversion of Tregs to Th1 and/or Th17-like cells, as well as stabilize Foxp3 expression. Furthermore, GMSC-mediated prevention of acute GVHD was dependent on CD39 signaling that play an important role in the function and stability of Tregs. Finally, we also observed stronger protective ability of GMSCs with greater expansion ability compared with BMSCs or ASCs. These results indicate that human GMSCs have the potential to be used to treat GVHD.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National 863 project (NO. 2015AA020932), Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81100270), Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81571557), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu (No. BK20131024) and International cooperation project of Jiangsu Province (No. BZ2011041).