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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 169082, 14 pages
Research Article

Association of TNF-α with Impaired Migration Capacity of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, 321 Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 210008, China

Received 21 May 2014; Accepted 7 September 2014; Published 24 November 2014

Academic Editor: Enrico Maggi

Copyright © 2014 Linyu Geng 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.


Previous studies indicated that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) exhibited impaired capacities of proliferation, differentiation, and immune modulation. Considering that migration capacity is important for the exertion of BMSCs functions, the defects in migration might contribute to BMSCs dysfunction in SLE patients. In this study, we showed that the migration capacity of SLE BMSCs was remarkably impaired in comparison with those of healthy controls. Increased tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in SLE serum significantly inhibited the migration capacity and in vivo homing capacity of SLE BMSCs via a specific TNF receptor I (TNFRI) manner, in which decreased HGF mRNA production caused by the activation of I kappa B kinase beta (IKK-β) pathway is partially involved. To our knowledge, this is the first report to discuss the possible mechanisms for impaired migration of BMSCs in SLE patients. Our results suggest that inhibition of TNF-α pathway might be helpful for accelerating BMSCs migration to the inflammatory microenvironment in SLE patients, thereby having a potential role in SLE treatment.