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Human mesenchymal stem cells creating an immunosuppressive environment and promote breast cancer in mice.

Ljujic, B. and Milovanovic, M. and Volarevic, V. and Murray, B. and Bugarski, D. and Przyborski, S. and Arsenijevic, N. and Lukic, M.L. and Stojkovic, M. (2013) 'Human mesenchymal stem cells creating an immunosuppressive environment and promote breast cancer in mice.', Scientific reports., 3 . p. 2298.


Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) can home to tumor sites and promote tumor growth. The effects of hMSC on tumor growth are controversial and involvement of hMSC in tumor immunology has not been adequately addressed. Therefore, we investigated whether injection of hMSC affects tumor appearance, growth and metastasis, and anti-tumor immunity in an experimental animal model of metastatic breast cancer. Injection of hMSC in BALB/c mice bearing mammary carcinoma promoted tumor growth and metastasis, which was accompanied by lower cytotoxic activity of splenocytes, NK cells and CD8+ T cells in vitro. Tumor-bearing mice that received hMSC had significantly lower percentages of CD3+NKp46+ NKT-like, higher percentages of CD4+Foxp3+ T cells, increased serum levels of Th2 and decreased serum levels of Th1 cytokines, and significantly higher number of CD4+ cells expressing IL-10. These results demonstrate that immunosuppressive environment created by hMSC promoted breast tumor growth and metastasis in mice.

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Publisher statement:This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date accepted:05 July 2013
Date deposited:27 July 2015
Date of first online publication:July 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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