Soluble mediators from mesenchymal stem cells suppress T cell proliferation by inducing IL-10

Seung Ha Yang, Min Jung Park, Il Hee Yoon, Su Young Kim, So Hee Hong, Jin Young Shin, Hye Young Nam, Yong Hee Kim, Bongi Kim, Chung Gyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can inhibit T cell proliferation; however, the underlying mechanisms are not clear. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of the immunoregulatory activity of MSCs on T cells. Irradiated MSCs co-cultured with either naïve or pre-activated T cells in a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) significantly suppressed T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner, irrespective of allogeneic disparity between responders and MSCs. Transwell assays revealed that the suppressive effect was primarily mediated by soluble factors that induced apoptosis. Splenocytes stimulated with alloantigen in the presence of the MSC culture supernatant (CS) produced a significant amount of IL-10, which was attributed to an increase in the number of IL-10 secreting cells, confirmed by an ELISPOT assay. The blockade of IL-10 and IL-10 receptor interaction by anti-IL-10 or anti-IL-10-receptor antibodies abrogated the suppressive capacity of MSC CS, indicating that IL-10 plays a major role in the suppression of T cell proliferation. The addition of 1-methyl-DL-tryptophan (1-MT), an indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) inhibitor, also restored the proliferative capacity of T cells. In conclusion, we demonstrated that soluble mediators from culture supernatant of MSCs could suppress the proliferation of both naïve and pre-activated T cells in which IL-10 and IDO play important roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 31 May 2009


  • Apoptosis
  • Immunosuppression
  • Indoleamine-pyrrole 2,3-dioxygenase
  • Interleukin-10
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • T-lymphocytes


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