Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can suppress pathological inflammation. However, the mechanisms underlying the association between MSCs and inflammation remain unclear. Under coculture conditions with macrophages, MSCs highly expressed angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) to blunt the polarization of macrophages toward the proinflammatory phenotype. ANGPTL4-deficient MSCs failed to inhibit the inflammatory macrophage phenotype. In inflammation-related animal models, the injection of coculture medium or ANGPTL4 protein increased the antiinflammatory macrophages in both peritonitis and myocardial infarction. In particular, cardiac function and pathology were markedly improved by ANGPTL4 treatment. We found that retinoic acid–related orphan receptor α (RORα) was increased by inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1β, and bound to ANGPTL4 promoter in MSCs. Collectively, RORα-mediated ANGPTL4 induction was shown to contribute to the antiinflammatory activity of MSCs against macrophages under pathological conditions. This study suggests that the capability of ANGPTL4 to induce tissue repair is a promising opportunity for safe stem cell–free regeneration therapy from a translational perspective.
Dong Im Cho, Hye-jin Kang, Ju Hee Jeon, Gwang Hyeon Eom, Hyang Hee Cho, Mi Ra Kim, Meeyoung Cho, Hye-yun Jeong, Hyen Chung Cho, Moon Hwa Hong, Yong Sook Kim, Youngkeun Ahn