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A small molecule screen for enhanced homing of systemically infused cells

Levy, O., Mortensen, L.J., Boquet, G. et al.

Poor homing of systemically infused cells to disease sites may limit the success of exogenous cell-based therapy. In this study, we screened 9,000 signal transduction modulators to identify hits that increase mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) surface expression of homing ligands that bind to ICAM-1, such as CD11a. Pretreatment of MSCs with Ro-31-8425, an identified hit from this screen, increased MSC firm adhesion to an ICAM-1-coated substrate in-vitro, and enabled targeted delivery of systemically administered MSCs to inflamed sites in-vivo in a CD11a (and other ICAM-1-binding domains)-dependent manner. This resulted in a heightened anti-inflammatory response. This represents a new strategy for engineering cell homing to enhance therapeutic efficacy and validates CD11a/ICAM-1 as potential targets. Altogether, this multi-step screening process may significantly improve clinical outcomes of cell-based therapies.

Citation

Levy, O., Mortensen, L.J., Boquet, G. et al. "A small molecule screen for enhanced homing of systemically infused cells" Cell Reports (2015): 1,261–8