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N‐glycosylation Mediates Immunosuppression by MSCs

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess immunoregulatory properties and are hypoimmunogenic, making them promising candidates for cell therapy approaches in hyperinflammatory conditions such as graft‐vs‐host disease as a consequence of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Now, a new study led by Dimitrios Mougiakakos (University of Erlangen‐Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany) reports that inflammatory stimuli can promote the expression and secretion of the immunological checkpoint molecule programmed death‐ligand 1 (PD‐L1) in human MSCs. Strautch et al. also reveal that enhanced N‐glycosylation accompanies this adaptive process to promote the transportation of PD‐L1 to the cell surface and enhance secretion. Overall, this new STEM CELLS study suggests that N‐glycosylation may represent a means to improve the therapeutic efficacy of MSC therapy for hyperinflammatory conditions.