Discovery of chemerin as the new chemoattractant of human mesenchymal stem cells

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Kim, Irene; Park, Hyomin; Hwang, Injoo; Moon, Dodam; Yun, Hyunji; Lee, Eun Ju; Kim, Hyo-Soo
Issue Date
Cell & Bioscience. 2021 Jul 01;11(1):120
Active chemerinChemoattractantIntravascularly-deliveryHoming of stem cells
The homing capacity of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to the injured sites enables systemic administration of hMSCs in clinical practice. In reality, only a small proportion of MSCs are detected in the target tissue, which is a major bottleneck for MSC-based therapies. We still dont know the mechanism how MSCs are chemo-attracted to certain target organ and engrafted through trans-endothelial migration. In this study, we aimed to determine the mechanism how the circulating hMSCs home to the injured liver.

Methods and results
When we compare the cytokine array between normal and injured mouse liver at 1-day thioacetamide (TAA)-treatment, we found that chemerin, CXCL2, and CXCL10 were higher in the injured liver than normal one. Among three, only chemerin was the chemoattractant of hMSCs in 2D- and 3D-migration assay. Analysis of the signal transduction pathways in hMSCs showed that chemerin activated the phosphorylation of JNK1/2, ERK1/2 and p38, and finally upregulated CD44, ITGA4, and MMP-2 that are involved in the transendothelial migration and extravasation of MSCs. Upstream transcription regulators of CD44, ITGA4, and MMP-2 after chemerin treatment were MZF1, GATA3, STAT3, and STAT5A. To develop chemerin as a chemoattractant tool, we cloned gene encoding the active chemerin under the CMV promoter (CMV-aChemerin). We analyzed the migration of hMSCs in the 3D model for space of the Disse, which mimics transmigration of hMSCs in the liver. CMV-aChemerin-transfected hepatocytes were more effective to attract hMSC than control hepatocytes, leading to the enhanced transendothelial migration and homing of hMSCs to liver. The homing efficiency of the intravascularly-delivered hMSCs to liver was evaluated after systemic introduction of the CMV-aChemerin plasmid packed in liposome-vitamin A conjugates which target liver. CMV-aChemerin plasmid targeting liver significantly enhanced homing efficiency of hMSCs to liver compared with control plasmid vector.

Chemerin is the newly found chemoattractant of hMSCs and may be a useful tool to manipulate the homing of the intravascularly-administered hMSC to the specific target organ.
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Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology (융합과학기술대학원)Dept. of Molecular and Biopharmaceutical Sciences (분자의학 및 바이오제약학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_분자의학 및 바이오제약학과)
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