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Upregulation of CC Chemokine Receptor 7 (CCR7) Enables Migration of Xenogeneic Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Rat Secondary Lymphoid Organs

Tian Ma, Shao-Liang Luan, Hong Huang, Xing-Kun Sun, Yan-Mei Yang, Hui Zhang, Wei-dong Han, Hong Li, Yan Han

Department of Plastic and Reconstruction, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:5206-5217

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.902690

Available online:

Published: 2016-12-30


BACKGROUND: CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) expression is vital for cell migration to secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs). Our previous work showed that inducing CCR7 expression enabled syngeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to migrate into SLOs, resulting in enhanced immunosuppressive performance in mice. Given that human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) are widely used in clinical therapy, we further investigated whether upregulation of CCR7 enables xenogeneic hASCs to migrate to rat SLOs.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: hASCs rarely express CCR7; therefore, hASCs were transfected with lentivirus encoding rat CCR7 (rCCR7) plus green fluorescence protein (GFP) or GFP alone. CCR7 mRNA and cell surface expression of rCCR7-hASCs and GFP-hASCs were examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and flow cytometry (FCM), respectively. The phenotype, differentiation, and proliferation capacity of each cell type was also determined. To examine migration, rCCR7-hASCs and GFP-hASCs were injected intravenously into Lewis rats, and the proportion of GFP-positive cells in the spleen and lymph nodes was determined with FCM.
RESULTS: mRNA and cell surface protein expression of CCR7 was essentially undetectable in hASCs and GFP-ASCs; however, CCR7 was highly expressed in rCCR7-ASCs. rCCR7-hASCs, GFP-hASCs, and hASCs shared a similar immunophenotype, and maintained the ability of multilineage differentiation and proliferation. In addition, the average proportion of GFP-positive cells was significantly higher following transplantation of rCCR7-hASCs compared with GFP-hASCs (p<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that upregulation of rat CCR7 expression does not change the phenotype, differentiation, or proliferation capacity of hASCs, but does enable efficient migration of hASCs to rat SLOs.

Keywords: mesenchymal stromal cells, Receptors, CCR7



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