Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells capable of originating both mesenchymal and nonmesenchymal cell lineages. MSCs present anti-inflammatory properties and are being used with great success as treatment for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Lipids are recognized as key players in cells membrane and signaling, but also in immunity. However, the evaluation of the lipidome of MSCs is scarce in present literature. Few papers demonstrated that lipid metabolism and signaling are modulated during MSCs activation,
The study published by Campos AM et al. (Journal of Cellular Physiology, 2015) evidences that MSCs phospholipid profile changes when these cells are subjected to pro-inflammatory stimulus, induced by the presence of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and interferon gamma (IFN-g).
Major changes in lipid molecular profile of phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS), lysoPC (LPC), and sphingomyelin (SM) classes were found.
The levels of PC species with shorter fatty acids (FAs), mainly C16:0, decreased under pro- inflammatory stimuli. The level of PC(40:6) also decreased, which may be correlated with enhanced levels of LPC(18:0), which is known to be an anti-inflammatory LPC, observed in MSCs subjected to TNF-a and IFN-g.
Simultaneously, the relative amounts of PC(36:1) and PC(38:4) increased. TNF-a and IFN-g also enhanced the levels of PE(40:6) and decreased the levels of PE(O-38:6). Higher expression of PS(36:1) and SM(34:0) along with a decrease in PS(38:6) levels were observed.
These results indicate that lipid metabolism and signaling are modulated during MSCs activation, which suggests that lipids may be involved in MSCs functional and anti-inflammatory activities. Membrane lipidomics seems to influence many fundamental MSC biological properties and this is a field still non considered by most stem cell laboratories