Reduction of N-glycolylneuraminic acid xenoantigen on human adipose tissue-derived stromal cells/mesenchymal stem cells leads to safer and more useful cell sources for various stem cell therapies.
Adipose tissue is an attractive source for somatic stem cell therapy. Currently, human adipose tissue-derived stromal cells/mesenchymal stem cells (hADSCs/MSCs) are cultured with fetal bovine serum (FBS). Recently, however, not only human embryonic stem cell lines cultured on mouse feeder cells but also bone marrow-derived human MSCs cultured with FBS were reported to express N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) xenoantigen. Human serum contains high titers of natural preformed antibodies against Neu5Gc. We studied the presence of Neu5Gc on hADSCs/MSCs cultured with FBS and human immune response mediated by Neu5Gc. Our data indicated that hADSCs/MSCs cultured with FBS expressed Neu5Gc and that human natural preformed antibodies could bind to hADSCs/MSCs. However, hADSCs/MSCs express complement regulatory proteins such as CD46, CD55, and CD59 and are largely resistant to complement-mediated cytotoxicity. hADSCs/MSCs cultured with FBS could be injured by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity mechanism. Further, human monocyte-derived macrophages could phagocytose hADSCs/MSCs cultured with FBS and this phagocytic activity was increased in the presence of human serum. Culturing hADSCs/MSCs with heat-inactivated human serum for a week could markedly reduce Neu5Gc on hADSCs/MSCs and prevent immune responses mediated by Neu5Gc, such as binding of human natural preformed antibodies, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and phagocytosis. Adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potentials of hADSCs/MSCs cultured with heat-inactivated human serum were not less than that of those cultured with FBS. For stem cell therapies based on hADSCs/MSCs, hADSCs/MSCs that presented Neu5Gc on their cell surfaces after exposure to FBS should be cleaned up to be rescued from xenogeneic rejection.
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