Tetraspanin CD9 is widely expressed on various cell types, such as cancer cells and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and/or cell-released exosomes. It has been reported that exosomal CD9 plays an important role in intercellular communications involved in cancer cell migration and metastasis. However, reports on the effect of the CD9 of MSCs or MSC-derived exosomes on cancer cell migration are still lacking. In this study, using a transwell migration assay, we found that both dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles (dex-IO NPs) and ionomycin stimulated exosomal CD9 expression in human MSCs (hMSCs); however, hMSCs could not deliver them to melanoma cells to affect cell migration. Interestingly, a reduced migration of melanoma cell line was observed when the ionomycin-incubated hMSC-conditioned media but not dex-IO NP-labeled hMSC-conditioned media were in the bottom chamber. In addition, we found that dex-IO NPs decreased cellular CD9 expression in hMSCs but ionomycin increased this. Simultaneously, we found that ionomycin suppressed the expression and secretion of the chemokine CCL21 in hMSCs. The silencing of CD9 demonstrated an inhibitory role of cellular CD9 in CCL21 expression in hMSCs, suggesting that ionomycin could upregulate cellular CD9 to decrease CCL21 expression and secretion of hMSCs, which would reduce the migration of B16F10, A549 and U87MG cancer cell lines due to chemoattraction reduction of CCL21. The present study not only highlights the important role of bone marrow-derived hMSCs’ CD9-mediated CCL21 regulation in cancer bone metastasis but also suggests a new distinct pharmaceutical strategy for prevention or/and therapy of cancer metastasis.
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