[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although stem cell therapy holds promise as a potential treatment in a number of diseases, the tumorigenicity of embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells remains a major obstacle. In vitro predifferentiation of ESCs can help prevent the risk of teratoma formation, yet proliferating neural progenitors can generate tumors, especially in the presence of immunosuppressive therapy. In this study, we investigated the effects of the microenvironment on stem cell growth and teratoma development using undifferentiated ESCs. Syngeneic ESC transplantation triggered an inflammatory response that involved the recruitment of bone marrow (BM)-derived macrophages. These macrophages differentiated into an M2 or angiogenic phenotype that expressed multiple angiogenic growth factors and proteinases, such as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), VEGF, and matrix metalloproteinase 9, creating a microenvironment that supported the initiation of teratoma development. Genetic deletion of MIF from the host but not from ESCs specifically reduced angiogenesis and teratoma growth, and MIF inhibition effectively reduced teratoma development after ESC transplantation. Together, our findings show that syngeneic ESC transplantation provokes an inflammatory response that involves the rapid recruitment and activation of BM-derived macrophages, which may be a crucial driving force in the initiation and progression of teratomas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory response following central nervous system (CNS) injury contributes to progressive neuropathology and reduction in functional recovery. Axons are sensitive to mechanical injury and toxic inflammatory mediators, which may lead to demyelination. Although it is well documented that degenerated myelin triggers undesirable inflammatory responses in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), there has been very little study of the direct inflammatory consequences of damaged myelin in spinal cord injury (SCI), i.e., there is no direct evidence to show that myelin debris from injured spinal cord can trigger undesirable inflammation in vitro and in vivo. Our data showed that myelin can initiate inflammatory responses in vivo, which is complement receptor 3 (CR3)-dependent via stimulating macrophages to express pro-inflammatory molecules and down-regulates expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Mechanism study revealed that myelin-increased cytokine expression is through activation of FAK/PI3K/Akt/NF-kappaB signaling pathways and CR3 contributes to myelin-induced PI3K/Akt/NF-kappaB activation and cytokine production. The myelin induced inflammatory response is myelin specific as sphingomyelin (the major lipid of myelin) and myelin basic protein (MBP, one of the major proteins of myelin) are not able to activate NF-kappaB signaling pathway. In conclusion, our results demonstrate a crucial role of myelin as an endogenous inflammatory stimulus that induces pro-inflammatory responses and suggest that blocking myelin-CR3 interaction and enhancing myelin debris clearance may be effective interventions for treating SCI.