Introduction: Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a potentially lethal disease characterized by autoimmune hemolysis. Although human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) have been reported as a promising therapy, there is limited evidence regarding warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (wAIHA) patients. This study aimed to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of hUC-MSCs via immune regulation in wAIHA patients. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 10 wAIHA patients and 8 healthy controls were isolated from peripheral blood and cultured for 3 days with or without the presence of hUC-MSCs; PBMCs were co-cultured with hUC-MSCs using Transwell assays. The supernatant cytokine levels were measured after culture through AimPlex Multiple Immunoassays for Flow, including IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17A. The percentages of regulatory T cells, regulatory B cells, and Th1/Th2 in PBMCs were also assessed before and after culturing. Results: In the wAIHA group, hUC-MSCs could upregulate the Treg and Breg proportions after culturing for 3 days, and the Treg and Breg percentages increased after co-culturing with hUC-MSCs in the wAIHA group compared with PBMC cultured alone for 3 days (8.29 ± 8.59 vs. 6.82 ± 1.32, 3.82 ± 1.87 vs. 1.75 ± 1.20, respectively). Compared with the PBMC wAIHA group, the levels of TNF-α (2.13 ± 2.07 vs. 16.20 ± 21.13 pg/mL, p = 0.019) and IL-10 (10.51 ± 18.42 vs. 37.78 ± 44.20 pg/mL, p = 0.012) were significantly elevated in the PBMC + hUC-MSCs wAIHA group. Conclusion: The hUC-MSCs contributed to the increasing proportion of regulatory cell populations in PBMCs of wAIHA patients, thereby potentially regulating autoimmune response; thus, hUC-MSCs may be a promising approach for wAIHA treatment.

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