World J Stem Cells 2019 Jun;11(6):347-374
Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw 53-114, Poland.
Background: Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) constitute a promising tool in regenerative medicine and can be isolated from different human tissues. However, their biological properties are still not fully characterized. Whereas MSCs from different tissue exhibit many common characteristics, their biological activity and some markers are different and depend on their tissue of origin. Understanding the factors that underlie MSC biology should constitute important points for consideration for researchers interested in clinical MSC application.
Aim: To characterize the biological activity of MSCs during longterm culture isolated from: bone marrow (BM-MSCs), adipose tissue (AT-MSCs), skeletal muscles (SM-MSCs), and skin (SK-MSCs).
Methods: MSCs were isolated from the tissues, cultured for 10 passages, and assessed for: phenotype with immunofluorescence and flow cytometry, multipotency with differentiation capacity for osteo-, chondro-, and adipogenesis, stemness markers with qPCR for mRNA for Sox2 and Oct4, and genetic stability for p53 and c-Myc; 27 bioactive factors were screened using the multiplex ELISA array, and spontaneous fusion involving a co-culture of SM-MSCs with BM-MSCs or AT-MSCs stained with PKH26 (red) or PKH67 (green) was performed.
Results: All MSCs showed the basic MSC phenotype; however, their expression decreased during the follow-up period, as confirmed by fluorescence intensity. The examined MSCs express CD146 marker associated with proangiogenic properties; however their expression decreased in AT-MSCs and SM-MSCs, but was maintained in BM-MSCs. In contrast, in SK-MSCs CD146 expression increased in late passages. All MSCs, except BM-MSCs, expressed PW1, a marker associated with differentiation capacity and apoptosis. BM-MSCs and AT-MSCs expressed stemness markers Sox2 and Oct4 in long-term culture. All MSCs showed a stable p53 and c-Myc expression. BM-MSCs and AT-MSCs maintained their differentiation capacity during the follow-up period. In contrast, SK-MSCs and SM-MSCs had a limited ability to differentiate into adipocytes. BM-MSCs and AT-MSCs revealed similarities in phenotype maintenance, capacity for multilineage differentiation, and secretion of bioactive factors. Because AT-MSCs fused with SM-MSCs as effectively as BM-MSCs, AT-MSCs may constitute an alternative source for BM-MSCs.
Conclusion: Long-term culture affects the biological activity of MSCs obtained from various tissues. The source of MSCs and number of passages are important considerations in regenerative medicine.