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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018, Article ID 1241323, 14 pages
Research Article

IFNα-Expressing Amniotic Fluid-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Migrate to and Suppress HeLa Cell-Derived Tumors in a Mouse Model

1The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China
2The Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Guangmei Zhang; moc.621@4102gnahziemgnaug

Received 16 October 2017; Accepted 23 January 2018; Published 2 April 2018

Academic Editor: Atique Ahmed

Copyright © 2018 Jun Zhou 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.


Background. Immunotherapy for cervical cancer with type I interferon (IFN) is limited because of the cytotoxicity that accompanies the high doses that are administered. In this study, we investigated the utilization of amniotic fluid-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AF-MSCs) as a means for delivering IFNα to local tumor sites for the suppression of cervical cancer in a mouse model using HeLa cell xenografts. Methods. The tumor tropism ability of AF-MSCs and AF-MSCs genetically modified to overexpress IFNα (IFNα-AF-MSCs) was examined through Transwell in vitro and through fluorescent images and immunohistochemistry in a mouse model. Tumor size and tumor apoptosis were observed to evaluate the efficacy of the targeting therapy. Mechanistically, tumor cell apoptosis was detected by cytometry and TUNEL, and oncogenic proteins c-Myc, p53, and Bcl-2 as well as microvessel density were detected by immunohistochemistry. Results. In this model, intravenously injected AF-MSCs selectively migrated to the tumor sites, participated in tumor construction, and promoted tumor growth. After being genetically modified to overexpress IFNα, the IFNα-AF-MSCs maintained their tumor tropism but could significantly suppress tumor growth. The restrictive efficacy of IFNα-AF-MSCs was associated with the suppression of angiogenesis, inhibition of tumor cell proliferation, and induction of apoptosis in tumor cells. Neither AF-MSCs nor IFNα-AF-MSCs trigger tumor formation. Conclusions. IFNα-AF-MSC-based therapy is feasible and shows potential for treating cervical cancer, suggesting that AF-MSCs may be promising vehicles for delivering targeted anticancer therapy.