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Sharad K. Mittal, Alireza Mashaghi, Afsaneh Amouzegar, Mingshun Li, William Foulsham, Srikant K. Sahu, Sunil K. Chauhan; Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Inhibit Neutrophil Effector Functions in a Murine Model of Ocular Inflammation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(3):1191-1198. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-23067.
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Neutrophil-secreted effector molecules are one of the primary causes of tissue damage during corneal inflammation. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of stromal cells in regulating neutrophil expression of tissue-damaging enzymes, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and N-elastase (ELANE).
Bone marrow–purified nonhematopoietic mesenchymal stromal cells and formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine–activated neutrophils were cocultured in the presence or absence of Transwell inserts for 1 hour. Neutrophil effector molecules, MPO and ELANE, were quantified using ELISA. In mice, corneal injury was created by mechanical removal of the corneal epithelium and anterior stroma approximating one third of total corneal thickness, and mesenchymal stromal cells were then intravenously injected 1 hour post injury. Corneas were harvested to evaluate MPO expression and infiltration of CD11b+Ly6G+ neutrophils.
Activated neutrophils cocultured with mesenchymal stromal cells showed a significant 2-fold decrease in secretion of MPO and ELANE compared to neutrophils activated alone (P < 0.05). This suppressive effect was cell–cell contact dependent, as stromal cells cocultured with neutrophils in the presence of Transwell failed to suppress the secretion of neutrophil effector molecules. Following corneal injury, stromal cell–treated mice showed a significant 40% decrease in MPO expression by neutrophils and lower neutrophil frequencies compared to untreated injured controls (P < 0.05). Reduced MPO expression by neutrophils was also accompanied by normalization of corneal tissue structure following stromal cell treatment.
Mesenchymal stromal cells inhibit neutrophil effector functions via direct cell–cell contact interaction during inflammation. The current findings could have implications for the treatment of inflammatory ocular disorders caused by excessive neutrophil activation.
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