Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Multiple Myeloma Impact Disease Progression

A study showed that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) present in the multiple myeloma (MM) bone marrow niche promote disease progression. The study appeared in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

The researchers wrote that “despite various studies on MM pathology, the impact of MM on MSCs during the early stages of malignancy has not been adequately addressed. We previously identified tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) as a cytokine that is modulated in vivo within the MM BM niche, and highlighted its potential relevance in MM.”

In this study, the effects of MSC-derived TIMP-1 on MM cell migration was analyzed. The results showed that TIMP-1 secreted by human MSCs play a role in preventing migration of MM cells by reducing the levels of MM cell-derived MMP-9, the researchers noted.

Also, using a knockdown method in MSCs, the researchers identified TGF-B activated kinase 1 binding protein 1 (TAB1) as an upstream effector of TIMP-1 that was downregulated by MM cells.

“Overall, our findings uncover how MSCs in the MM BM niche are modulated to promote MM progression and unravel a previously unreported role of the TAB1-TIMP-1 axis in the context of the MM BM niche,” the researchers concluded.