Plasma cells (PCs) acquiring long lifespans in the bone marrow (BM) play a pivotal role in the humoral arm of immunological memory. The PCs reside in a special BM niche and produce antibodies against past-encountered pathogens or vaccine components for a long time. In BM, cysteine-X-cysteine (CXC) chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4)-expressing PCs and myeloid cells such as dendritic cells are attracted to and held by CXC chemokine ligand 12 (CXCR12)-secreting stromal cells, where survival of the PCs is supported by soluble factors such as IL-6 and APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) produced by neighboring myeloid cells. Although these stromal cells are also supposed to be involved in the support of the survival and antibody production, the full molecular mechanism has not been clarified yet. Here, we show that BM PDGFRα+Sca-1+- enriched mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can contribute as stromal cells for hematopoietic stem cells, also support in vitro survival of and antibody production by BM PCs. IL-6 produced by MSCs was found to be involved in the support. Immunohistochemistry of BM sections suggested a co-localization of a minor population of PCs with PDGFRα+Sca-1+ MSCs in the BM. We also found that the sort-purified MSC preparation was composed of multiple cell groups with different gene expression profiles, as found on single-cell RNA sequencing, to which multiple roles in the in vitro PC support could be attributed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy