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International Journal of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6089425, 8 pages
Research Article

Impaired mRNA Expression of the Migration Related Chemokine Receptor CXCR4 in Mesenchymal Stem Cells of COPD Patients

1School of Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Pneumonology, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
2Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
3Department of Haematology, University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
4Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Correspondence should be addressed to K. Karagiannis

Received 31 January 2017; Accepted 6 June 2017; Published 19 July 2017

Academic Editor: Sarah Howie

Copyright © 2017 K. Karagiannis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Defective tissue repair and remodeling are main aspects of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) pathophysiology. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) have been implicated in this direction, as their functional impairment and recruitment could possibly contribute to disease development and progression. The present study characterizes for the first time the expression of migration related chemokine receptors and their ligands in BM-MSCs from COPD patients. CXCR4/SDF1a and CCR7/CCL19-CCL21 mRNA levels were evaluated in BM-MSCs obtained from twelve COPD patients and seven healthy donors. SDF1a protein levels in sera and BM-MSCs’ conditioned media were also evaluated. CXCR4, SDF1a, CCL19, and CCL21 mRNA levels were significantly reduced in COPD BM-MSCs while CCR7 levels were undetectable. Notably, SDF1a protein levels were marginally elevated in both patient sera and BM-MSCs’ conditioned media while the increase in SDF1a serum levels significantly correlated with disease severity in COPD. Our findings show posttranscriptional regulation of SDF1a levels in BM-MSCs of COPD patients and significant downregulation of SDF1a and CXCR4 mRNA indicating an involvement of the SDF1a signaling pathway in the disease pathophysiology.