Periodic thermomechanical modulation of toll-like receptor expression and distribution in mesenchymal stromal cells


Toll-like receptor (TLR) can trigger an immune response against virus including SARS-CoV-2. TLR expression/distribution is varying in mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) depending on their culture environments. Here, to explore the effect of periodic thermomechanical cues on TLRs, thermally controlled shape-memory polymer sheets with programmable actuation capacity were created. The proportion of MSCs expressing SARS-CoV-2-associated TLRs was increased upon stimulation. The TLR4/7 colocalization was promoted and retained in the endoplasmic reticula. The TLR redistribution was driven by myosin-mediated F-actin assembly. These results highlight the potential of boosting the immunity for combating COVID-19 via thermomechanical preconditioning of MSCs.
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