Adipogenic differentiation of MSC alters their immunomodulatory properties in a tissue-specific manner

Hafsa Munir, Lewis Clarke, Lozan Sheriff, Samuel Kemble, Saba Nayar, Francesca Barone, Gerard Nash, Helen McGettrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


Chronic inflammation is associated with formation of ectopic fat deposits that might represent damage-induced aberrant mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation. Such deposits are associated with increased levels of inflammatory infiltrate and poor prognosis. Here we tested the hypothesis that differentiation from MSC to adipocytes in inflamed tissue might contribute to chronicity through loss of immunomodulatory function. We assessed the effects of adipogenic differentiation of MSC isolated from bone marrow or adipose tissue on their capacity to regulate neutrophil recruitment by endothelial cells and compared the differentiated cells to primary adipocytes from adipose tissue. Bone marrow derived MSC were immunosuppressive, inhibiting neutrophil recruitment to TNFα-treated endothelial cells (EC), but MSC-derived adipocytes were no longer able to suppress neutrophil adhesion. Changes in IL-6 and TGFβ1 signalling appeared critical for the loss of the immunosuppressive phenotype. In contrast, native stromal cells, adipocytes derived from them, and mature adipocytes from adipose tissue were all immunoprotective. Thus disruption of normal tissue stroma homeostasis, as occurs in chronic inflammatory diseases, might drive “abnormal” adipogenesis which adversely influences the behavior of MSC and contributes to pathogenic recruitment of leukocytes. Interestingly, stromal cells programmed in native fat tissue retain an immunoprotective phenotype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1636–1646
JournalStem Cells
Issue number6
Early online date24 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2017


  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Adipocytes
  • Endothelial cells
  • Neutrophils
  • Inflammation
  • Tissue-specific


Dive into the research topics of 'Adipogenic differentiation of MSC alters their immunomodulatory properties in a tissue-specific manner'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this