A major challenge in regenerative medicine is to improve therapeutic cells’ delivery and targeting using an efficient and simple protocol. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are currently employed for the treatment of inflammatory-based diseases, due to their powerful immunosoppressive potential. Here we report a simple and versatile method to transiently overexpress the hyaluronic acid (HA) receptor, CD44, on MSC membranes, to improve their homing potential towards an inflammatory site without affecting their behavior. The effect of HA-coatings on murine MSC was functionally determined both, in vitro and in vivo as a consequence of the transient CD44 overexpression induced by HA. Data obtained from the in vitro migration assay demonstrated a two-fold increase in the migratory potential of HA-treated MSC compared to untreated cells. In an LPS-induced inflamed ear murine model, HA-treated MSC demonstrated a significantly higher inflammatory targeting as observed at 72 hrs as compared to untreated cells. This increased accumulation for HA-treated MSC yielded a substantial reduction in inflammation as demonstrated by the decrease in the expression of pro-inflammatory markers and by the induction of a pro-regenerative environment.
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