Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Clinical use of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) is limited due to their rapid clearance, reducing their therapeutic efficacy. The inflammatory cytokine IL-1β activates hMSCs and is known to enhance their engraftment. Consequently, understanding the molecular mechanism of this inflammation-triggered adhesion is of great clinical interest to improving hMSC retention at sites of tissue damage. Integrins are cell-matrix adhesion receptors, and clustering of integrins at the nanoscale underlies cell adhesion. Here, we found that IL-1β enhances adhesion of hMSCs via increased focal adhesion contacts in an α5β1 integrin-specific manner. Further, through quantitative super-resolution imaging we elucidated that IL-1β specifically increases nanoscale integrin α5β1 availability and clustering at the plasma membrane, whilst conserving cluster area. Taken together, these results demonstrate that hMSC adhesion via IL-1β stimulation is partly regulated through integrin α5β1 spatial organization at the cell surface. These results provide new insight into integrin clustering in inflammation and provide a rational basis for design of therapies directed at improving hMSC engraftment.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci Rep

Publication Date





Bone Marrow Cells, Cell Adhesion, Cell Membrane, Cell Movement, Extracellular Matrix, Fibronectins, Humans, Integrin alpha5beta1, Interleukin-1beta, Mesenchymal Stem Cells