Journal of Clinical Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
The Busan, Ulsan, Gyeoungnam Branch of Korean Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Can the Palatine Tonsil be a Source of Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Immunomodulatory Property?

Yoon Se Lee1, Hee-Young Park2, Yun Sung Lim2, Jin-Choon Lee2, Soo-Geun Wang2, Jin Sup Jung3, Byung-Joo Lee2,*
1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital and Medical Research Institute, Busan, Korea
3Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea
*교신저자: 이병주,602-739 부산광역시 서구 구덕로 Г79 부산대학교 의과대학 이비인후과학교실 전화: (051) 240-7335 · 전송: (051) 246-8668 · E-mail:

© Copyright 2012 The Busan, Ulsan, Gyeoungnam Branch of Korean Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Mar 08, 2012; Revised: Mar 27, 2012; Accepted: Apr 30, 2012

Published Online: May 31, 2020


Background and Objectives: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multi potent cells that can differentiate into various cell types and are isolated from various other human adult and fetal tissues. Our study is to isolate palatine tonsil-derived MSCs (T-MSCs) and evaluate their differentiation potential and immunomodulatory effects, compared with bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs). Methods: T-MSCs were isolated from human palatine tonsil. The expression of surface markers of T-MSCs was assessed by flow cytometric analysis. Differentiation potential of T-MSCs was analyzed histochemically and by the expression of lineage-related marker genes. Immunomodulatory effects were evaluated by mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLR) and mitogen proliferation assays with phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Results: T-MSCs were isolated from palatine tonsil and displayed a similar morphology to BM-MSCs. T-MSCs were negative for CD 31?CD45, CD117, HLA-DR and positive for CD44, CD73, CD90, and CD105 in flow cytometric analysis. The expression of surface phenotypes and differentiation potential of T-MSCs exhibited the similar finding as BM-MSCs. T-MSCs showed the significant inhibition of the proliferation of T cells stimulated by allergenic T cells in MLR study and by PHA stimuli in mitogen proliferation assay and also significant decrease of the secretion of TNF-a and IFN-γ (p <0.05). The HLA-G5 secretion by T-MSCs showed the significant increase in MLR and mitogen proliferation assays (p<0.05). T-MSCs do satisfy the phenotypical and functional definition of MSCs. T-MSCs also displayed immuno- modulatory effects that were associated with inhibiting T-cell proliferation, decreasing soluble factors, and increasing HLA-G5 secretion in response to various stimuli. Conclusions: We propose that T-MSCs provide a good alternative for allogeneic MSCs in therapeutic applications. (J Clinical Otolaryngol 2012;23:90–100)

Keywords: Palatine tonsil; Mesenchymal stem cell; Immune modulation