Immunoregulatory function of neonatal nucleated red blood cells in humans

Lili Cui, Hidetoshi Takada, Tomohito Takimoto, Junko Fujiyoshi, Masataka Ishimura, Toshiro Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We found that human cord blood nucleated red blood cells (NRBCs) have a regulatory function in the innate immune reaction. These cells suppressed the production of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-1β from monocytes in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The NRBCs exerted their regulatory function even without cell-to-cell contact with the monocytes. However, IL-10 production from the monocytes by LPS stimulation in the presence of NRBCs was higher than that from LPS-stimulated monocytes cultured in the absence of NRBCs. Addition of an anti-IL-10 receptor blocking antibody restored the inflammatory cytokine production from the monocytes, suggesting that the functional change of the monocytes caused by the interaction with NRBCs was mediated by the increased IL-10 production. A whole-genome microarray analysis revealed that the monocytes expressed increased amounts of IL-10 superfamily genes after interacting with NRBCs. IL-19, which is a member of the IL-10 superfamily, enhanced IL-10 production from the monocytes, which suggested a cooperative role of the IL-10 superfamily in the suppression of inflammatory cytokine production from monocytes. Arginase, which was reported to play an important role in the suppressive function of NRBCs in mice monocytes, was found to have no significant role in human monocytes. The NRBCs seem to have a regulatory role through the induction of IL-10/IL-19 production by monocytes to suppress a vigorous innate immune reaction, which can be harmful to fetuses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-861
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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