Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are becoming an increasingly popular therapeutic option among patients with a broad range of ailments to modulate immunity and induce regeneration. The majority of patients receiving these MSC therapies are on concurrent medication or have ongoing infection. In the present study, we examined the effect of immunosuppressive drugs and lipopolysaccharides (LPS)/endotoxins on the secretory profile, migration towards site of injury, and suppression of lymphocyte proliferation of bone marrow-derived MSCs (BMSCs). Generally, LPS coculture augmented the secretory capacity of BMSCs while exposure to immunosuppressive drugs resulted primarily in no change or attenuated secretion, with some cases of increased secretion, dependent on the cytokine assayed. Among the immunosuppressants evaluated, Hydrocortisone had the most widespread inhibitory effect, while LPS from E. coli
O111:B4 had the most potent stimulatory effect. In addition, we also showed that Hydrocortisone or LPS from E. coli
O111:B4 affected the migratory and immunosuppressive capacity of BMSCs. Following simulation with Hydrocortisone, BMSC migration was attenuated, and immunosuppressive capacity against T cell proliferation was enhanced, however, the opposite effects were seen with LPS from E. coli
O111:B4. Our data suggests that the clinical outcomes of MSC-based therapy are affected by the use of immunosuppressive medication or the presence of endotoxemia in patients.
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