Background: Co-transplantation of bone marrow cells (BMCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is used as a strategy to improve the outcomes of bone marrow transplantation. Tonsil-derived MSCs (TMSCs) are a promising source of MSCs for co-transplantation. Previous studies have shown that TMSCs or conditioned media from TMSCs (TMSC-CM) enhance BMC engraftment. However, the factors in TMSCs that promote better engraftment have not yet been identified. Methods: Mice were subjected to a myeloablative regimen of busulfan and cyclophosphamide, and the mRNA expression in the bone marrow was analyzed using an extracellular matrix (ECM) and adhesion molecule-targeted polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array. Nano-liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry, real-time quantitative PCR, western blots, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to compare the expression levels of metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3) in MSCs derived from various tissues, including the tonsils, bone marrow, adipose tissue, and umbilical cord. Recipient mice were conditioned with busulfan and cyclophosphamide, and BMCs, either as a sole population or with control or MMP3-knockdown TMSCs, were co-transplanted into these mice. The effects of TMSC-expressed MMP3 were investigated. Additionally, Enzchek collagenase and Transwell migration assays were used to confirm that the collagenase activity of TMSC-expressed MMP3 enhanced BMC migration. Results: Mice subjected to the myeloablative regimen exhibited increased mRNA expression of collagen type IV alpha 1/2 (Col4a1 and Col4a2). Among the various extracellular matrix-modulating proteins secreted by TMSCs, MMP3 was expressed at higher levels in TMSCs than in other MSCs. Mice co-transplanted with BMCs and control TMSCs exhibited a higher survival rate, weight recovery, and bone marrow cellularity compared with mice co-transplanted with BMCs and MMP3-knockdown TMSCs. Control TMSC-CM possessed higher collagenase activity against collagen IV than MMP3-knockdown TMSC-CM. TMSC-CM also accelerated BMC migration by degrading collagen IV in vitro. Conclusions: Collectively, these results indicate that TMSCs enhance BMC engraftment by the secretion of MMP3 for the modulation of the bone marrow extracellular matrix.
- Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
- Tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells
- Type IV collagen