Amniotic membrane-derived cells inhibit proliferation of cancer cell lines by inducing cell cycle arrest.
ABSTRACT Cells derived from the amniotic foetal membrane of human term placenta have drawn particular attention mainly for their plasticity and immunological properties, which render them interesting for stem-cell research and cell-based therapeutic applications. In particular, we have previously demonstrated that amniotic mesenchymal tissue cells (AMTC) inhibit lymphocyte proliferation in vitro and suppress the generation and maturation of monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Here, we show that AMTC also significantly reduce the proliferation of cancer cell lines of haematopoietic and non-haematopoietic origin, in both cell-cell contact and transwell co-cultures, therefore suggesting the involvement of yet-unknown inhibitory soluble factor(s) in this 'cell growth restraint'. Importantly, we provide evidence that the anti-proliferative effect of AMTC is associated with induction of cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase. Gene expression analyses demonstrate that AMTC can down-regulate cancer cells' mRNA expression of genes associated with cell cycle progression, such as cyclins (cyclin D2, cyclin E1, cyclin H) and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK4, CDK6 and CDK2), whilst they up-regulate cell cycle negative regulator such as p15 and p21, consistent with a block in G0/G1 phase with no progression to S phase. Taken together, these findings warrant further studies to investigate the applicability of these cells for controlling cancer cell proliferation in vivo.