The dose of MSC administered to the mice was approximately 1–2 × 106 Flk-1+ MSCs per mouse; compared to 108 or more splenocytes in each mouse, the stimulatory effect of Flk-1+ MSCs might play a dominant role on B cells in CIA animals.
Consistently, MSC-treated mice showed a mild increase in serum IgG compared to untreated CIA mice. Alternatively, the enhancement of splenocyte proliferation and IgG secretion in Flk-1+ MSC-treated mice might be caused by the specific in vivo environment of CIA, rather than a dose-dependent effect of Flk-1+ MSCs observed in in vitro culture. It is known that in vitro suppression in a mixed lymphocyte selleck chemical reaction (MLR) does not always correlate with in vivo immune modulation. To address this question, we
should increase the dose given to mice and examine the dose-dependency in vivo. However, we failed to increase the dose of MSC infusion to 1–2 × 107 because of pulmonary embolism and the subsequent death of the animals. The mechanism of the differential regulation of B cell proliferation by MSC in vitro is still unknown. Rasmusson et al. have reported previously that similar differential regulation of human B cells by MSCs might be associated with the intensity of stimulation . The dose effect of MSC and the dose effect of stimulation might share some common mechanisms. IL-6 is a cytokine that enhances see more B cell function. The co-existence of increased production of
IL-6 (Fig. 4) and decreased proliferation of B cells (Fig. 5), while MSCs were co-cultured with splenocytes at ratio of 1:10, indicates that two independent pathways co-exist – one promotes B cells, and the other suppresses B cells. The subtle balance between them may explain the differential regulation of B cell proliferation by MSCs in our and other studies . Flk-1+ MSCs exacerbated CIA only in the day 21 Protein kinase N1 infusion group and not in the day 0 group. The difference in the in vivo physiological environment of the animal between days 0 and 21 might account for this issue. The onset of arthritis begins after the second injection of CII on day 21. Therefore, the physiological condition of the animal on day 21 is closer to that of the animal suffering from arthritis, while the physiological condition of the animal on day 0 is closer to that of the healthy animals. The results of day 0 mice indicated that Flk-1+ MSCs did not have a preventive effect on CIA, and the results of day 21 showed the aggravation risks of treating CIA with Flk-1+ MSCs. In conclusion, we propose that elevated IL-6, by enhancing Th17 and plasma cells, is responsible for the aggravation of CIA after day 21 Flk-1+ MSC treatment (Fig. 6). In Phase II clinical trials of Flk-1+ MSCs, special attention should be paid to patients with rheumatoid arthritis.