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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 4960831, 7 pages
Research Article

Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Have a Heterogenic Cytokine Secretion Profile

1Nephrology & Transplantation, Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2West China Hospital, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Nicole M. van Besouw; ln.cmsumsare@wuosebnav.n

Received 7 March 2017; Revised 9 May 2017; Accepted 16 May 2017; Published 31 May 2017

Academic Editor: Vladislav Volarevic

Copyright © 2017 Yongkang Wu 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.


Mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue (ASC) have immune regulatory function, which makes them interesting candidates for cellular therapy. ASC cultures are however heterogeneous in phenotype. It is unclear whether all ASC contribute equally to immunomodulatory processes. ASC are also responsive to cytokine stimulation, which may affect the ratio between more and less potent ASC populations. In the present study, we determined IL-6 receptor (CD126 and CD130 subunits) and IFN-γ receptor (CD119) expression on ASC by flow cytometry. The production of IL-6 and IFN-γ was measured by ELISA and the frequency of IL-6 and IFN-γ secreting cells by ELISPOT. The results showed that ASC did not express CD126, and only 10–20% of ASC expressed CD130 on their surface, whereas 18–31% of ASC expressed CD119. ASC produced high levels of IL-6 and 100% of ASC were capable of secreting IL-6. Stimulation by IFN-γ or TGF-β had no effect on IL-6 secretion by ASC. IFN-γ was produced by only 1.4% of ASC, and TGF-β significantly increased the frequency to 2.7%. These results demonstrate that ASC cultures are heterogeneous in their cytokine secretion and receptor expression profiles. This knowledge can be employed for selection of potent, cytokine-producing, or responsive ASC subsets for cellular immunotherapy.