Human mesenchymal stem cells alter the gene profile of monocytes from patients with Type 2 diabetes and end-stage renal disease

Aim: Macrophage infiltration contributes to the pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess immunomodulatory properties, making them an ideal candidate for therapeutic intervention. This study investigated whether MSCs can modulate the phenotype of monocytes isolated from Type 2 diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease.

Materials & methods: Monocytes from control (n = 4) and Type 2 diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease (n = 5) were assessed using flow cytometry and microarray profiling, following 48 h of co-culture with MSCs.

Results: Control subjects had a greater proportion of CD14++CD16 monocytes while diabetic patients had a higher proportion of CD14++CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ monocytes. MSCs promoted the proliferation of monocytes isolated from diabetic patients, reduced HLA-DR expression in both groups and promoted the expression of anti-inflammatory genes.

Conclusion:MSC-derived factors alter the polarization of monocytes isolated from healthy and diabetic subjects toward an M2 phenotype.