Toll-like receptor triggering in cord blood mesenchymal stem cells

Lieke C J van den Berk, Bastiaan J H Jansen, Kim G C Siebers-Vermeulen, Mihai G Netea, Talia Latuhihin, Saskia Bergevoet, Reinier A Raymakers, Gesine Kögler, Carl C Figdor, Gosse J Adema, Ruurd Torensma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recently, the antagonizing effect on the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) by toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands, was described. Our study shows that on more primitive cord blood derived MSCs, the expression of TLRs and ligand-induced triggering differs from that of bone marrow derived MSCs. At the RNA level, cord blood MSCs (unrestricted somatic stem cells; USSCs) express low levels of TLR1,3,5,9 and high levels of TLR4 and TLR6. At the protein level expression of TLR5 and very low expression of TLR4 was observed. NF-kappaB translocation studies revealed that both TLR4 and TLR5 are functional, although signalling kinetics induced by the individual ligands differed. Stimulation of USSCs with either lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or flagellin resulted in a marked increase of interleukin (IL)-6 and/or IL-8 production although levels differed significantly between both stimuli. Interestingly, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha was undetectable after TLR stimulation, which appeared to be due to an inactivated TNF-alpha promoter in USSCs. Moreover, osteoblastic differentiation was enhanced after triggering USSCs with LPS and flagellin. In summary, TLR4 and 5 signalling in USSCs is slow and results in the up-regulation of a restricted number of pro-inflammatory cytokines and enhanced osteoblastic differentiation. Apparently, the outcome of TLR signalling depends on the cell type that expresses them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3415-26
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number9B
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Fetal Blood
  • Flagellin
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • Kinetics
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
  • Osteoblasts
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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