Secreted factors from dental pulp stem cells improve Sjögren’s syndrome via regulatory T cell-mediated immunosuppression

Mayu Matsumura-Kawashima, Kenichi Ogata, Masafumi Moriyama, Yuka Murakami, Tatsuya Kawado, Seiji Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease primarily characterized by inflammation in the salivary and lacrimal glands. Activated T cells contribute to disease pathogenesis by producing proinflammatory cytokines, which leads to a positive feedback loop establishment. The study aimed to evaluate the effects of secreted factors derived from dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) or bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) on hyposalivation in SS and to investigate the mechanism involved. Methods: Eighty percent confluent stem cells were replenished with serum-free Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium and incubated for 48 h; following which, conditioned media from DPSCs (DPSC-CM) and BMMSCs (BMMSC-CM) were collected. Cytokine array analysis was performed to assess the types of cytokines present in the media. Flow cytometric analysis was performed to evaluate the number of activated T cells cultured in DPSC-CM or BMMSC-CM. Subsequently, DPSC-CM or BMMSC-CM was administered to an SS mouse model. The mice were categorized into the following groups (n = 6 each): non-treatment, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (−), BMMSC-CM, and DPSC-CM. Histological analysis of the salivary glands was performed. The gene and protein expression levels of cytokines associated with T helper subsets in the submandibular glands (SMGs) were evaluated. Results: DPSC-CM contained more secreted factors with tissue-regenerating mechanisms, such as cell proliferation, anti-inflammatory effects, and immunomodulatory effects. DPSC-CM was more effective in suppressing the activated T cells than other groups in the flow cytometric analysis. The stimulated salivary flow rate increased in SS mice with DPSC-CM compared with that in the other groups. In addition, the number of inflammation sites in SMGs of the mice administered with DPSC-CM was lower than that in the other groups. The expression levels of interleukin (Il)-10 and transforming growth factor-β1 were upregulated in the DPSC-CM group, whereas those of Il-4 and Il-17a were downregulated. The DPSC-CM-administered group presented with a significantly increased percentage of regulatory T (Treg) cells and a significantly decreased percentage of type 17 Th (Th17) cells compared with the other groups. Conclusions: These results indicated that DPSC-CM ameliorated SS by promoting Treg cell differentiation and inhibiting Th17 cell differentiation in the mouse spleen.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Secreted factors from dental pulp stem cells improve Sjögren’s syndrome via regulatory T cell-mediated immunosuppression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this