Tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells enhance allogeneic bone marrow engraftment via collagen IV degradation

Hyun Ji Lee, Yu Hee Kim, Da Won Choi, Kyung Ah Cho, Joo Won Park, Sang Jin Shin, Inho Jo, So Youn Woo, Kyung Ha Ryu

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11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number329
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
  • Engraftment
  • Metalloproteinase-3
  • Tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells
  • Type IV collagen


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