Mesenchymal stem cells inhibit T-cell function through conserved induction of cellular stress

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The physiological role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is to provide a source of cells to replace mesenchymal-derivatives in stromal tissues with high cell turnover or following stromal tissue damage to elicit repair. Human MSCs have been shown to suppress in vitro T-cell responses via a number of mechanisms including indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). This immunomodulatory capacity is likely to be related to their in vivo function in tissue repair where local, transient suppression of immune responses would benefit differentiation. Further understanding of the impact of locally modulated immune responses by MSCs is hampered by evidence that IDO is not produced or utilized by mouse MSCs. In this study, we demonstrate that IDO-mediated tryptophan starvation triggered by human MSCs inhibits T-cell activation and proliferation through induction of cellular stress. Significantly, we show that despite utilizing different means, immunomodulation of murine T-cells also involves cellular stress and thus is a common strategy of immunoregulation conserved between mouse and humans.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0213170
JournalPL o S One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2019


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