Human predecidual stromal cells are mesenchymal stromal/stem cells and have a therapeutic effect in an immune-based mouse model of recurrent spontaneous abortion.

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Human decidual stromal cells (DSCs) are involved in the maintenance and development of pregnancy, in which they play a key role in the induction of immunological maternal-fetal tolerance. Precursors of DSCs (preDSCs) are located around the vessels, and based on their antigen phenotype, previous studies suggested a relationship between preDSCs and mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs). This work aimed to further elucidate the MSC characteristics of preDSCs. We established 15 human preDSC lines and 3 preDSC clones. Physiological differentiation (decidualization) of these cell lines and clones was carried out by in vitro culture with progesterone (P4) and cAMP. Decidualization was confirmed by the change in cellular morphology and prolactin (PRL) secretion, which was determined by enzyme immunoassay of the culture supernatants. We also studied MSC characteristics: (1) In mesenchymal differentiation, under appropriate culture conditions, these preDSC lines and clones differentiated into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes, and differentiation was confirmed by cytochemical assays and RT-PCR. (2) The expression of stem cell markers was determined by RT-PCR. (3) Cloning efficiency was evaluated by limited dilution. (4) Immunoregulatory activity in vivo was estimated in DBA/2-mated CBA/J female mice, a murine model of immune-based recurrent abortion. (5) Survival of preDSC in immunocompetent mice was analyzed by RT-PCR and flow cytometry. Under the effect of P4 and cAMP, the preDSC lines and clones decidualized in vitro: the cells became rounder and secreted PRL, a marker of physiological decidualization. PreDSC lines and clones also exhibited MSC characteristics. They differentiated into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes, and preDSC lines expressed stem cell markers OCT-4, NANOG, and ABCG2; exhibited a cloning efficiency of 4 to 15%; significantly reduced the embryo resorption rate (P  Together, our results confirm that preDSCs are decidual MSCs and suggest that these cells are involved in the mechanisms of maternal-fetal immune tolerance.
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Clone cells, Decidua, Immune tolerance, Immunotherapy, Mesenchymal stromal cells, Predecidual stromal cells, Recurrent abortion